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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Establish a Nonstandard Expirations Pilot Program

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Start Preamble January 8, 2018.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Start Printed Page 1637(“Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that on December 21, 2017, Nasdaq ISE, LLC (“ISE” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III, below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

The Exchange proposes to establish a Nonstandard Expirations Pilot Program on a pilot basis, for an initial period of twelve months from the date of approval of this proposed rule change.

The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's website at http://ise.cchwallstreet.com/​, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

The purpose of this rule filing is to add new Supplementary Material .07 to ISE Rule 2009, Terms of Index Options Contracts, to permit the listing and trading, on a pilot basis, of p.m.-settled options on broad-based indexes with nonstandard expiration dates for an initial period of twelve months (the “Nonstandard Expirations Pilot Program” or “Pilot Program”) from the date of approval of this proposed rule change. The Pilot Program would permit both weekly expirations (“Weekly Expirations”) and end of month (“EOM”) expirations as explained below. Contract terms for the Weekly Expirations and EOM expirations will be similar to those of the a.m. settled broad-based index options, except that the exercise settlement value will be based on the index value derived from the closing prices of component stocks.

Weekly Expirations

The Exchange proposes to add new Supplementary Material .07(a), Weekly Expirations, to Rule 2009. Under the proposed new rule the Exchange would be permitted to open for trading Weekly Expirations on any broad-based index eligible for standard options trading to expire on any Monday, Wednesday, or Friday (other than the third Friday-of-the-month or days that coincide with an EOM expiration).

The maximum number of expirations that could be listed for each Weekly Expiration (i.e., a Monday expiration, Wednesday expiration, or Friday expiration, as applicable) in a given class would be the same as the maximum number of expirations permitted for standard options on the same broad-based index. Weekly Expirations would not need to be for consecutive Monday, Wednesday, or Friday expirations as applicable. However, the expiration date of a non-consecutive expiration would not be permitted beyond what would be considered the last expiration date if the maximum number of expirations were listed consecutively.

Weekly Expirations that are first listed in a given class could expire up to four weeks from the actual listing date. If the last trading day of a month were a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday and the Exchange were to list EOMs and Weekly Expirations as applicable in a given class, the Exchange would list an EOM instead of a Weekly Expiration in the given class. Other expirations in the same class would not be counted as part of the maximum number of Weekly Expirations for a broad-based index class. If the Exchange were not open for business on a respective Monday, the normally Monday expiring Weekly Expirations would expire on the following business day. If the Exchange were not open for business on a respective Wednesday or Friday, the normally Wednesday or Friday expiring Weekly Expirations would expire on the previous business day.

End of Month (“EOM”) Expirations

Pursuant to proposed ISE Rule 2009 Supplementary Material .07(b), End of Month (“EOM”) Expirations, the Exchange could open for trading EOMs on any broad-based index eligible for standard options trading to expire on last trading day of the month. EOMs would be subject to all provisions of Rule 2009 and treated the same as options on the same underlying index that expire on the third Friday of the expiration month. However, the EOMs would be P.M.-settled and new series in EOMs could be added up to and including on the expiration date for an expiring EOM.

The maximum number of expirations that could be listed for EOMs in a given class would be the same as the maximum number of expirations permitted for standard options on the same broad-based index. EOM expirations would not need to be for consecutive end of month expirations. However, the expiration date of a non-consecutive expiration may not be beyond what would be considered the last expiration date if the maximum number of expirations were listed consecutively. EOMs that are first listed in a given class could expire up to four weeks from the actual listing date. Other expirations would not be counted as part of the maximum numbers of EOM expirations for a broad-based index class.

Contract Terms Trading Rules

Weekly Expirations and EOMs would be subject to the same rules that currently govern the trading of standard monthly broad-based index options, including sales practice rules, margin requirements, and floor trading procedures. Contract terms for Weekly Expirations and EOMs would be the same as those for standard monthly broad-based index options. Since Weekly Expirations and EOMs will be a new type of series, and not a new class, the Exchange proposes that Weekly Expirations and EOMs shall be aggregated for any applicable reporting and other requirements.[3] Pursuant to proposed new Supplementary Material .07(d) of Rule 2009, transactions in Weekly Expirations and EOMs could be effected on the Exchange between the hours of 9:30 a.m. (Eastern Time) and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time).

The Exchange has analyzed its capacity and represents that it believes the Exchange and the Options Price Reporting Authority (“OPRA”) have the necessary systems capacity to handle any additional traffic associated with the listing of the maximum number Start Printed Page 1638nonstandard expirations permitted under the Pilot.

Pilot Program

As stated above, this proposal is to establish a Nonstandard Expirations Pilot Program for broad-based index options on a pilot basis, for an initial period of twelve months from the date of approval of this proposed rule change. If the Exchange were to propose an extension of the Pilot or should the Exchange propose to make the Pilot permanent, the Exchange would submit a filing proposing such amendments to the Pilot.

Further, any positions established under the Pilot would not be impacted by the expiration of the Pilot. For example, if the Exchange lists a Weekly Expiration or EOM that expires after the Pilot expires (and is not extended) then those positions would continue to exist. However, any further trading in those series would be restricted to transactions where at least one side of the trade is a closing transaction.

As part of the Pilot, the Exchange will submit a Pilot report to the Commission at least two months prior to the expiration date of the Pilot (the “annual report”). The annual report will contain an analysis of volume, open interest and trading patterns. In addition, for series that exceed certain minimum open interest parameters, the annual report will provide analysis of index price volatility and, if needed, share trading activity. The annual report will be provided to the Commission on a confidential basis.

Analysis of Volume and Open Interest

For all Weekly Expirations and EOM series, the annual report will contain the following volume and open interest data for each broad-based index overlying Weekly Expiration and EOM options:

(1) Monthly volume aggregated for all Weekly Expiration and EOM series,

(2) Volume in Weekly Expiration and EOM series aggregated by expiration date,

(3) Month-end open interest aggregated for all Weekly Expiration and EOM series,

(4) Month-end open interest for EOM series aggregated by expiration date and open interest for Weekly Expiration series aggregated by expiration date,

(5) Ratio of monthly aggregate volume in Weekly Expiration and EOM series to total monthly class volume, and

(6) Ratio of month-end open interest in EOM series to total month-end class open interest and ratio of open interest in each Weekly Expiration series to total class open interest.

In addition, the annual report will contain the information noted above for standard Expiration Friday, AM-settled series, if applicable, for the period covered in the pilot report as well as for the six-month period prior to the initiation of the pilot.

Upon request by the SEC, the Exchange will provide a data file containing: (1) Weekly Expiration and EOM option volume data aggregated by series, and (2) Weekly Expiration open interest for each expiring series and EOM month-end open interest for expiring series.

Monthly Analysis of Weekly Expiration and EOM Trading Patterns

In the annual report, the Exchange also proposes to identify Weekly Expiration and EOM trading patterns by undertaking a time series analysis of open interest in Weekly Expiration and EOM series aggregated by expiration date compared to open interest in near-term standard Expiration Friday A.M.-settled series in order to determine whether users are shifting positions from standard series to Weekly Expiration and EOM series. In addition, to the extent that data on other weekly or monthly P.M. settled products from other exchanges is publicly available, the report will also compare open interest with these options in order to determine whether users are shifting positions from other weekly or monthly P.M. settled products to the Weekly Expiration and EOM series. Declining open interest in standard series or the weekly or monthly P.M.-settled products of other exchanges accompanied by rising open interest in Weekly Expiration and EOM series would suggest that users are shifting positions.

Provisional Analysis of Index Price Volatility and Share Trading Activity

For each Weekly Expiration and EOM expiration that has open interest that exceeds certain minimum thresholds, the annual report will contain the following analysis related to index price changes and, if needed, underlying share trading volume at the close on expiration dates:

(1) A comparison of index price changes at the close of trading on a given expiration date with comparable price changes from a control sample. The data will include a calculation of percentage price changes for various time intervals and compare that information to the respective control sample. Raw percentage price change data as well as percentage price change data normalized for prevailing market volatility, as measured by an appropriate index agreed by the Commission and the Exchange, will be provided; and

(2) if needed, a calculation of share volume for a sample set of the component securities representing an upper limit on share trading that could be attributable to expiring in-the-money Weekly Expiration and EOM expirations. The data, if needed, will include a comparison of the calculated share volume for securities in the sample set to the average daily trading volumes of those securities over a sample period.

The minimum open interest parameters, control sample, time intervals, method for selecting the component securities, and sample periods will be determined by the Exchange and the Commission.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,[4] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[5] in particular, in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general to protect investors and the public interest, by expanding the ability of investors to hedge risks against market movements stemming from economic releases or market events that occur during the month and at the end of the month. Accordingly, the Exchange believes that weekly expirations and EOMs should create greater trading and hedging opportunities and flexibility, and provide customers with the ability to more closely tailor their investment objectives.

B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. Specifically, the Exchange does not believe the proposal will impose any burden on intramarket competition as all market participants will be treated in the same manner with respect to Weekly Expirations and EOMs. Additionally, the Exchange does not believe the proposal will impose any burden on intermarket competition as market participants are welcome to become members and trade at ISE if they determine that this proposed rule Start Printed Page 1639change has made ISE more attractive or favorable. Finally, all options exchanges are free to compete by listing and trading their own broad-based index options with weekly or end of month expirations.

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

No written comments were either solicited or received.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

Within 45 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the Exchange consents, the Commission shall: (a) By order approve or disapprove such proposed rule change, or (b) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. In particular, the Commission solicits comment on the following:

  • Will the pilot data contemplated in this notice allow the Commission to determine whether the weekly and monthly PM-settled options proposed in this filing have adverse effects on market volatility and the operation of fair and orderly markets in the underlying cash market?
  • Will the pilot data contemplated in this notice allow the Commission to determine whether the weekly and monthly PM-settled options proposed in this filing have adverse effects on liquidity, volume, open interest, trading patterns, and volatility in other option contracts with standard expirations?
  • Will the pilot data contemplated in this notice allow the Commission to determine whether the weekly and monthly PM-settled options proposed in this filing have adverse effects on index price volatility?
  • Will the weekly and monthly PM-settled options proposed in this filing affect the market for options contracts with nonstandard expirations offered by CBOE and Phlx? If so, how? In addition, how would this proposal affect the data and information related to nonstandard expirations that are provided by CBOE and Phlx?
  • What concerns do market participants have related to the proposed Nonstandard Expirations Pilot Program? If any, please be specific in describing your concerns. If any, will the pilot data contemplated in this notice allow the Commission to examine whether the concerns are valid?

Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments

  • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-ISE-2017-111. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's internet website (http://www.sec.gov/​rules/​sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-ISE-2017-111, and should be submitted on or before February 2, 2018.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[6]

Eduardo A. Aleman,

Assistant Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  See Rule 2006(a)(13) which sets forth the reporting requirements for certain market indexes that do not have position limits, including NDX. The Exchange is adding Nonstandard Expirations to Rule 2004(d) to reflect the aggregation requirement. The Exchange notes that the proposed aggregation is consistent with the aggregation requirements for other types of option series (e.g. quarterly expiring options) that are listed on the Exchange and which do not expires on the customary “third Friday”.

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[FR Doc. 2018-00409 Filed 1-11-18; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P