[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 222 (Friday, November 16, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 68871-68873]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-27869]


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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

[Release No. 34-68201; File No. SR-Phlx-2012-131]


Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of 
Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Extend 
the Cabinet Trading Pilot Program in Rule 1059

November 9, 2012.
    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 
(``Act''),\1\ and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,\2\ notice is hereby given that 
on November 1, 2012, NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC (``Phlx'' 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.
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    \1\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).
    \2\ 17 CFR 240.19b-4.
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I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance 
of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to extend the Cabinet Trading Pilot program 
in Rule 1059. The text of the proposed rule change is available on the 
Exchange's Web site at http://www.nasdaqtrader.com/micro.aspx?id=PHLXRulefilings, 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 
Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose
    The Exchange proposes to extend the pilot program in Commentary .02 
of Exchange Rule 1059, Accommodation Transactions, which sets forth 
specific procedures for engaging in cabinet trades, to allow the 
Commission adequate time to consider permanently allowing transactions 
to take place on the Exchange in open outcry at a price of at least $0 
but less than $1 per option contract.\3\ Prior to the pilot program, 
Rule 1059 required that all orders placed in the cabinet were assigned 
priority based upon the sequence in which such orders were received by 
the specialist. All closing bids and offers would be submitted to the 
specialist in writing, and the specialist effected all closing cabinet 
transactions by matching such orders placed with him. Bids or offers on 
orders to open for the accounts of customer, firm, specialists and ROTs 
could be made at $1 per option contract, but such orders could not be 
placed in and must yield to all orders in the cabinet. Specialists 
effected all cabinet transactions by matching closing purchase or sale 
orders which were placed in the cabinet or, provided there was no 
matching closing purchase or sale order in the cabinet, by matching a 
closing purchase or sale order in the cabinet with an opening purchase 
or sale order.\4\ All cabinet transactions were reported to the 
Exchange following

[[Page 68872]]

the close of each business day.\5\ Any (i) member, (ii) member 
organization, or (iii) other person who was a non-member broker or 
dealer and who directly or indirectly controlled, was controlled by, or 
was under common control with, a member or member organization (any 
such other person being referred to as an affiliated person) could 
effect any transaction as principal in the over-the-counter market in 
any class of option contracts listed on the Exchange for a premium not 
in excess of $1.00 per contract.
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    \3\ Cabinet or accommodation trading of option contracts is 
intended to accommodate persons wishing to effect closing 
transactions in those series of options dealt in on the Exchange for 
which there is no auction market.
    \4\ Specialists and ROTs are not subject to the requirements of 
Rule 1014 in respect of orders placed pursuant to this Rule. Also, 
the provisions of Rule 1033(b) and (c), Rule 1034 and Rule 1038 do 
not apply to orders placed in the cabinet. Cabinet transactions are 
not reported on the ticker.
    \5\ See Exchange Rule 1059.
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    On December 30, 2010, the Exchange filed an immediately effective 
proposal that established the pilot program being extended by this 
filing. The pilot program allowed transactions to take place in open 
outcry at a price of at least $0 but less than $1 per option contract 
until June 1, 2011.\6\ These lower priced transactions are traded 
pursuant to the same procedures applicable to $1 cabinet trades, except 
that pursuant to the pilot program (i) bids and offers for opening 
transactions are only permitted to accommodate closing transactions in 
order to limit use of the procedure to liquidations of existing 
positions, and (ii) the procedures are also made available for trading 
in options participating in the Penny Pilot Program.\7\ On May 31, 
2011, the Exchange filed an immediately effective proposal that 
extended the pilot program until December 1, 2011 to consider whether 
to seek permanent approval of the temporary procedure.\8\ On November 
30, 2011, the Exchange filed an immediately effective proposal that 
extended the pilot program until June 1, 2012.\9\ On May 29, 2012, the 
Exchange filed an immediately effective proposal that extended the 
pilot program until December 1, 2012.\10\ The Exchange now proposes an 
extension of the pilot program to allow additional time to consider its 
effects while the pilot program continues uninterrupted.
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    \6\ Phlx Rule 1059, Commentary .02; See Securities Exchange Act 
Release No. 63626 (December 30, 2010), 76 FR 812 (January 6, 2011) 
(SR-Phlx-2010-185).
    \7\ Prior to the pilot, the $1 cabinet trading procedures were 
limited to options classes traded in $0.05 or $0.10 standard 
increments. The $1 cabinet trading procedures were not available in 
Penny Pilot Program classes because in those classes, an option 
series could trade in a standard increment as low as $0.01 per share 
(or $1.00 per option contract with a 100 share multiplier). The 
pilot allows trading below $0.01 per share (or $1.00 per option 
contract with a 100 share multiplier) in all classes, including 
those classes participating in the Penny Pilot Program.
    \8\ See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 64571 (May 31, 
2011), 76 FR 32385 (June 6, 2011) (SR-Phlx-2011-72).
    \9\ See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 65852 (November 30, 
2011), 76 FR 76212 (December 6, 2011) (SR-Phlx-2011-156).
    \10\ See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 67106 (June 4, 
2012), 77 FR 34108 (June 8, 2012) (SR-Phlx-2012-74).
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    The Exchange believes that allowing a price of at least $0 but less 
than $1 will better accommodate the closing of options positions in 
series that are worthless or not actively traded, particularly due to 
recent market conditions which have resulted in a significant number of 
series being out-of-the-money. For example, a market participant might 
have a long position in a call series with a strike price of $100 and 
the underlying stock might now be trading at $30. In such an instance, 
there might not otherwise be a market for that person to close-out its 
position even at the $1 cabinet price (e.g., the series might be quoted 
no bid).
    The Exchange hereby seeks to extend the pilot period for such $1 
cabinet trading until June 1, 2013. The Exchange seeks this extension 
to allow the procedures to continue without interruption.
2. Statutory Basis
    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent 
with the provisions of Section 6 of the Act,\11\ in general, and with 
Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,\12\ in particular, in that the proposal 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 
mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, 
in general, to protect investors and the public interest. Specifically, 
the Exchange believes that allowing for liquidations at a price less 
than $1 per option contract pursuant to the pilot program will better 
facilitate the closing of options positions that are worthless or not 
actively trading, especially in Penny Pilot issues where cabinet trades 
are not otherwise permitted. The Exchange believes the extension is of 
sufficient length to allow the Commission to assess the impact of the 
Exchange's authority to allow transactions to take place in open outcry 
at a price of at least $0 but less than $1 per option in accordance 
with its attendant obligations and conditions.
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    \11\ 15 U.S.C. 78f.
    \12\ 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).
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B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will 
result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or 
appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act, as amended.

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

    Written comments were neither solicited nor received.

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

    The proposed rule change is effective upon filing pursuant to 
Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act \13\ and paragraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 
thereunder,\14\ in that the proposed rule change: (i) Does not 
significantly affect the protection of investors or the public 
interest; (ii) does not impose any significant burden on competition; 
and (iii) does not become operative for 30 days after the date of the 
filing, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate if 
consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest; 
provided the self-regulatory organization has given the Commission 
written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change, along 
with a brief description and text of 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.\15\
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    \13\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).
    \14\ 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).
    \15\ The Exchange has fulfilled this requirement.
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    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:

[[Page 68873]]

Electronic Comments

     Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or
     Send an email to rule-comments@sec.gov. Please include 
File Number SR-Phlx-2012-131 on the subject line.

Paper Comments

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

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-Phlx-2012-131. 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 Web site (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 Web site 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; the Commission does 
not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should 
submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All 
submissions should refer to File Number SR-Phlx-2012-131 and should be 
submitted on or before December 7, 2012.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, 
pursuant to delegated authority.\16\
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    \16\ 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).
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Kevin M. O'Neill,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2012-27869 Filed 11-15-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P