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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE American LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Expand the Short Term Options Series Program

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Start Preamble March 12, 2018.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) [1] of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) [2] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[3] notice is hereby given that on March 1, 2018, NYSE American LLC (the “Exchange” or “NYSE American”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. 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 expand the Short Term Options Series (“STOS”) Program to allow Monday expirations for SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (“SPY”) options. The proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's website at www.nyse.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 self-regulatory organization 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 those statements may be examined at Start Printed Page 11801the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts 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 Exchange proposes to expand the STOS Program to allow Monday expirations for SPY options. In particular, the Exchange proposes to amend Rule 900.2NY (Definitions) and Rule 903 (Series of Options Open for Trading) to permit the listing and trading of options series with Monday expirations that are listed pursuant to the STOS Program. This is a competitive filing based on a filing submitted by Nasdaq PHLX LLC (“Phlx”), which the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) recently approved.[4]

Currently Rule 900.2NY(50) provides that a STOS is a series in an option class that is approved for listing and trading on the Exchange in which the series is opened for trading on any Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday that is a business day and that expires on the Wednesday or Friday of the next business week. The Exchange proposes to amend Rule 900.2NY(50) to permit the listing of options series that expire on Mondays. Specifically, the Exchange is proposing that it may open for trading series of options on any Monday that is a business day and that expires on the Monday of the next business week. The Exchange is also proposing to list Monday expirations series on Fridays that precede the expiration Monday by one business week, plus one business day. Since Rule 900.2NY(50) already provides for the listing of STOS on Fridays, the Exchange is not modifying this provision to allow for Friday listing of Monday expiration series. However, the Exchange proposes to amend Rule 900.2NY(50) to clarify that, in the case of a STOS that is listed on a Friday and expires on a Monday, that STOS must be listed one business week and one business day prior to that expiration (i.e., two Fridays prior to expiration).

As part of this proposal, the Exchange is also amending Rule 900.2NY(50) to address the expiration date of Monday expiration series when the Monday is not a business day. In that case, the rule would provide that the series shall expire on the first business day immediately following that Monday. This procedure differs from the expiration date of Wednesday expiration series that are scheduled to expire on a holiday. In that case, the Wednesday expiration series expire on the first business day immediately prior to that Wednesday, e.g., Tuesday of that week.[5] However, the Exchange believes that it is preferable to require Monday expiration series in this scenario to expire on the Tuesday of that week rather than the previous business day, e.g., the previous Friday, since the Tuesday is closer in time to the scheduled expiration date of the series than the previous Friday, and therefore may be more representative of anticipated market conditions. The Exchange notes that this provision is identical to the corresponding provision recently adopted by Phlx in its proposal to list options series with Monday expirations pursuant to its Short Term Options Series program. The Exchange also notes that Cboe Exchange, Inc. (“Cboe”) uses the same procedure for options on the S&P 500 index (“SPX”) with Monday expirations that listed pursuant to its Nonstandard Expirations Pilot Program and that are scheduled to expire on a holiday.[6]

The Exchange also proposes to make corresponding changes to Rule 903, which sets forth the requirements for SPY options that are listed pursuant to the STOS Program, to permit Monday SPY expirations (“Monday SPY Expirations”). Accordingly, the Exchange proposes to amend Rule 903(h) and Rule 903 Commentary .10(e) to state that, with respect to Monday SPY Expirations, the Exchange may open for trading on any Friday or Monday that is a business day series of options on the SPY to expire on any Monday of the month that is a business day and is not a Monday in which Quarterly Options Series expire, provided that Monday SPY Expirations that are listed on a Friday must be listed at least one business week and one business day prior to the expiration. As with the current rules for Wednesday SPY Expirations, the Exchange would also amend Rule 903(h) and Rule 903, Commentary .10(e) to state that it may list up to five consecutive Monday SPY Expirations at one time, and may have no more than a total of five Monday SPY Expirations (and no more than a total of five STOS expirations for SPY expiring on Friday and no more than a total of five Wednesday SPY Expirations). The Exchange would also clarify that, as with Wednesday SPY Expirations, Monday SPY Expirations would be subject to the provisions of this Rule. The interval between strike prices for the proposed Monday SPY Expirations would be the same as those for the current STOS for Wednesday and Friday SPY Expirations. Specifically, the Monday SPY Expirations would have a $0.50 strike interval minimum. As is the case with other options series listed pursuant to the STOS, the Monday SPY Expiration series would be P.M.-settled.

Currently, for each option class eligible for participation in the STOS Program, the Exchange is limited to opening thirty (30) series for each expiration date for the specific class. The thirty (30) series restriction does not include series that are open by other securities exchanges under their respective short term option rules; the Exchange may list these additional series that are listed by other exchanges.[7] This thirty (30) series restriction would apply to Monday SPY Expiration series as well. In addition, the Exchange would be able to list series that are listed by other exchanges, assuming those exchanges file similar rules with the Commission to list SPY options expiring on Mondays.

Finally, the Exchange proposes to amend Rule 903 to address the listing of STOS that expire in the same week as monthly or quarterly options series. Currently, that rule states that no STOS may expire in the same week in which monthly option series on the same class expire (with the exception of Wednesday SPY Expirations) or, in the case of Quarterly Options Series, on an expiration that coincides with an expiration of Quarterly Option Series on the same class. The Exchange proposes to extend this exemption to Monday SPY Expirations.[8] As with Wednesday SPY Expirations, the Exchange believes that it is reasonable to extend this exemption to Monday SPY Expirations because Monday SPY Expirations and standard monthly options will not expire on the same trading day, as standard monthly options expire on Fridays. Additionally, the Exchange believes that not listing Monday SPY Expirations for one week every month because there was a monthly SPY expiration on the Friday of that week would create investor confusion. Start Printed Page 11802Finally, like Wednesday SPY Expirations, Monday SPY Expirations cannot expire on the same day as any Quarterly Option Series.

The Exchange does not believe that any market disruptions would be encountered with the introduction of P.M.-settled Monday expirations. The Exchange has the necessary capacity and surveillance programs in place to support and properly monitor trading in the proposed Monday expiration series, including Monday SPY Expirations. The Exchange currently trades P.M.-settled STOS that expire almost every Wednesday and Friday, which provide market participants a tool to hedge special events and to reduce the premium cost of buying protection. Moreover, the Exchange has been listing Wednesday expirations pursuant to Rule 903 and Rule 900.2NY(50) since 2016.[9] With the exception of Monday expiration series that are scheduled to expire on a holiday, the Exchange does not believe that there are any material differences between Monday expirations and Wednesday or Friday expirations for STOS.

The Exchange seeks to introduce Monday expirations to, among other things, expand hedging tools available to market participants and to continue the reduction of the premium cost of buying protection. The Exchange believes that Monday expirations, similar to Wednesday and Friday expirations, would allow market participants to purchase an option based on their timing as needed and allow them to tailor their investment and hedging needs more effectively.

As noted above, Phlx recently received approval to list Monday expirations for SPY options pursuant to its Short Term Options Series program. In addition, other exchanges currently permit Monday expirations for other options. For example, Cboe lists options on the SPX with a Monday expiration as part of its Nonstandard Expirations Pilot Program.[10]

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [11] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[12] in that it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanisms of a free and open market and a national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. Additionally, the Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Section 6(b)(5) requirement that the rules of an exchange not be designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers.[13]

In particular, the Exchange believes the STOS Program has been successful to date and that Monday expirations, including Monday SPY Expirations, would expand the ability of investors to hedge risk against market movements stemming from economic releases or market events that occur throughout the month in the same way that the STOS Program has expanded the landscape of hedging. Similarly, the Exchange believes Monday expirations, including Monday SPY Expirations, should create greater trading and hedging opportunities and flexibility, and would provide customers with the ability to tailor their investment objectives more effectively.

With the exception of Monday expiration series that are scheduled to expire on a holiday, the Exchange does not believe there are any material differences between Monday SPY Expirations and Wednesday or Friday SPY Expirations. The Exchange notes that it has been listing Wednesday expiration pursuant to Rule 903 and Rule 900.2NY(50) since 2016.[14] The Exchange believes that it is consistent with the Act to treat Monday expiration series that expire on a holiday differently than Wednesday or Friday expiration series, since the proposed treatment for Monday expiration series will result in an expiration date that is closer in time to the scheduled expiration date of the series, and therefore may be more representative of anticipated market conditions. The Exchange also notes that Cboe uses the same procedure for SPX options with Monday expirations that are listed pursuant to its Nonstandard Expirations Pilot Program and that are scheduled to expire on a holiday.[15] Additionally, the proposed rule change is consistent with rules of another options exchange, as Phlx recently received Commission approval to list Monday SPY Expirations.[16]

Given the similarities between Monday SPY Expiration series and Wednesday and Friday SPY Expiration series, the Exchange believes that applying the provisions in Rule 903 Commentary .10 that currently apply to Wednesday SPY Expirations, to Monday SPY Expirations, is justified. For example, the Exchange believes that allowing Monday SPY Expirations and monthly SPY expirations in the same week would benefit investors and minimize investor confusion by providing Monday SPY Expirations in a continuous and uniform manner. The Exchange also believes that it is appropriate to amend Rule 903 Commentary .10 to clarify that no STOS may expire on the same day as an expiration of Quarterly Option Series on the same class. This change would make that provision more consistent with the existing language in Rule 903 Commentary .10 that prohibits Wednesday SPY Expirations from expiring on a Wednesday in which Quarterly Options Series expire.

The Exchange represents that it has an adequate surveillance program in place to detect manipulative trading in Monday expirations, including Monday SPY Expirations, in the same way that it monitors trading in the current STOS Program.

With regard to the impact of this proposal on system capacity, the Exchange believes it and OPRA have the necessary systems capacity to handle any potential additional traffic associated with this proposed rule change. The Exchange believes that its members will not have a capacity issue as a result of this proposal.

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

The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change would impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The Exchange notes that having Monday expirations is not a novel proposal, as Cboe currently lists and trades short-term SPX options with a Monday expiration, and Phlx has recently received approval from the Commission to list Monday SPY expirations.[17] Therefore, the proposal would not impose any undue burden on inter-market competition. Additionally, other options exchanges are free to propose similar rules to list and trade STOS with Start Printed Page 11803Monday expirations. Finally, the Exchange does not believe the proposal would impose any burden on intra-market competition, as all market participants will be treated in the same manner under this proposal.

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

No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.

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

Because the foregoing proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, the proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [18] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[19]

A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) normally does not become operative for 30 days from the date of filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) [20] permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposal may become operative immediately upon filing. The Commission notes that it recently approved Phlx's substantially similar proposal to list and trade Monday SPY Expirations.[21] The Exchange has stated that waiver of the operative delay will allow the Exchange to list and trade Monday SPY Expirations as soon as possible, and therefore, promote competition among the option exchanges. For these reasons, the Commission believes that the proposed rule change presents no novel issues and that waiver of the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, and will allow the Exchange to remain competitive with other exchanges. Therefore, the Commission hereby waives the 30-day operative delay and designates the proposal operative upon filing.[22]

At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or 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. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments

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

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSEAMER-2018-08. 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-NYSEAMER-2018-08 and should be submitted on or before April 6, 2018.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[23]

Eduardo A. Aleman,

Assistant Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 82611 (February 1, 2018), 83 FR 5473 (February 7, 2018) (SR-Phlx-2017-103).

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5.  See Rule 900.2NY(50).

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6.  See CBOE Rule 24.9(e)(1) (“If the Exchange is not open for business on a respective Monday, the normally Monday expiring Weekly Expirations will expire on the following business day. If the Exchange is not open for business on a respective Wednesday or Friday, the normally Wednesday or Friday expiring Weekly Expirations will expire on the previous business day.”)

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7.  See Rule 903, Commentary .10(a).

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8.  See Rule 903(h) and Rule 903, Commentary .10(e).

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9.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 78780 (September 7, 2016), 81 FR 62939 (September 13, 2016) (SR-NYSEMKT-2016-87).

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10.  See CBOE Rule 24.9(e)(1) (“The Exchange may 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”).

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14.  See supra note 9.

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15.  See supra note 6.

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16.  See supra note 4.

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17.  See supra notes 4, 6.

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19.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6) requires a self-regulatory organization to give the Commission written notice of its intention to file the proposed rule change at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission. The Exchange has satisfied this requirement.

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20.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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21.  See supra note 4.

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22.  For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has also considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

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[FR Doc. 2018-05333 Filed 3-15-18; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P