December 17, 2018.
Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),
and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,
notice is hereby given that on December 11, 2018 Nasdaq PHLX LLC (“Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II, 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 amend the pilot period for the Exchange's nonstandard expirations pilot program, currently set to expire on December 15, 2018.
The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's website at http://nasdaqphlx.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
On December 15, 2017 the Commission approved a proposed rule change for the listing and trading on the Exchange, on a twelve month pilot basis, of p.m.-settled options on broad-based indexes with nonstandard expirations dates.
The pilot program permits both Weekly Expirations and End of Month (“EOM”) expirations similar to those of the a.m.-settled broad-based index options, except that the exercise settlement value of the options subject to the pilot are based on the index value derived from the closing prices of component stocks.
Pursuant to subsection (b)(vii)(1), Weekly Expirations, to Rule 1101A, 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). Weekly Expirations are be subject to all provisions of Exchange Rule 1101A and are treated the same as options on the same underlying index that expire on the third Friday of the expiration month. Unlike the standard monthly options, however, Weekly Expirations are p.m.-settled.
Similarly, pursuant to subsection (b)(vii)(2), Weekly Expirations, to Rule 1101A, the Exchange may open for trading EOMs on any broad-based index eligible for standard options trading to expire on the last trading day of the month. EOMs are subject to all provisions of Rule 1101A and treated the same as options on the same underlying index that expire on the third Friday of the expiration month. However, the EOMs are p.m.-settled.
The Exchange now proposes to amend Exchange Rule 1101A(b)(vii)(3) so that the duration of the pilot program for these nonstandard expirations will be through May 6, 2019. The Exchange continues to have sufficient systems capacity to handle p.m.-settled options on broad-based indexes with nonstandard expirations dates and has not encountered any issues or adverse market effects as a result of listing them. Additionally, there is continued investor interest in these products. The Exchange will make public on its website any data and analysis it submits Start Printed Page 65774to the Commission under the pilot program.
2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,
in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,
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. The Exchange believes the proposed rule change will protect investors and the public interest by providing the Exchange, the Commission and investors the benefit of additional time to analyze nonstandard expiration options. By extending the pilot program, investors may continue to benefit from a wider array of investment opportunities. Additionally, both the Exchange and the Commission may continue to monitor the potential for adverse market effects of p.m.-settlement on the market, including the underlying cash equities market, at the expiration of these options.
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. Options with nonstandard expirations would be available for trading to all market participants.
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
Because the 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 if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, the proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 
and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.
A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) 
normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of filing. However, pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii),
the Commission may 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 Exchange states that such waiver will allow investors to continue to trade nonstandard expiration options listed by the Exchange as part of the pilot program on an uninterrupted basis. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest as it will allow the pilot program to continue uninterrupted, thereby avoiding investor confusion that could result from a temporary interruption in the pilot program. For this reason, the Commission designates the proposed rule change to be operative upon filing.
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:
- 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-Phlx-2018-80. 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-Phlx-2018-80, and should be submitted on or before January 11, 2019.
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Eduardo A. Aleman,
[FR Doc. 2018-27617 Filed 12-20-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P