2019-07361. Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Extend the Pilot Related to Rule 133, Trading Halts Due to Extraordinary Market Volatility  

  • Start Preamble April 9, 2019.

    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 April 8, 2019, Nasdaq PHLX LLC (“Phlx” or “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 extend the pilot related to Rule 133, Trading Halts Due to Extraordinary Market Volatility, to the close of business on October 18, 2019.Start Printed Page 15259

    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 Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    1. Purpose

    Rule 133 provides a methodology for determining when to halt trading in all stocks due to extraordinary market volatility, i.e., market-wide circuit breakers. The market-wide circuit breaker mechanism under Rule 133 was approved by the Commission to operate on a pilot basis, the term of which was to coincide with the pilot period for the Plan to Address Extraordinary Market Volatility Pursuant to Rule 608 of Regulation NMS (the “LULD Plan”),[3] including any extensions to the pilot period for the LULD Plan.[4] The Commission published an amendment to the LULD Plan for it to operate on a permanent, rather than pilot, basis.[5]

    The Exchange proposes to amend Rule 133 to untie the pilot's effectiveness from that of the LULD Plan and to extend the pilot's effectiveness to the close of business on October 18, 2019. The Exchange does not propose any additional changes to Rule 133.

    Market-wide circuit breakers under Rule 133 provide an important, automatic mechanism that is invoked to promote stability and investor confidence during a period of significant stress when securities markets experience extreme broad-based declines. All U.S. equity exchanges have rules relating to market-wide circuit breakers, which are designed to slow the effects of extreme price movement through coordinated trading halts across securities markets when severe price declines reach levels that may exhaust market liquidity. Market-wide circuit breakers provide for trading halts in all equities and options markets during a severe market decline as measured by a single-day decline in the S&P 500 Index.

    Pursuant to Rule 133, a market-wide trading halt will be triggered if the S&P 500 Index declines in price by specified percentages from the prior day's closing price of that index. Currently, the triggers are set at three circuit breaker thresholds: 7% (Level 1), 13% (Level 2) and 20% (Level 3). A market decline that triggers a Level 1 or Level 2 circuit breaker after 9:30 a.m. ET and before 3:25 p.m. ET would halt market-wide trading for 15 minutes, while a similar market decline at or after 3:25 p.m. ET would not halt market-wide trading. A market decline that triggers a Level 3 circuit breaker, at any time during the trading day, would halt market-wide trading for the remainder of the trading day.

    The Exchange intends to file a separate proposed rule change to operate Rule 133 on a permanent, rather than pilot, basis. Extending the effectiveness of Rule 133 to the close of business on October 18, 2019 should provide the Commission adequate time to consider whether to approve the Exchange's separate proposal to operate the market-wide circuit breaker mechanism under Rule 133 on a permanent basis.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,[6] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[7] 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 also believes that the proposed rule change promotes just and equitable principles of trade in that it promotes transparency and uniformity across markets concerning when and how to halt trading in all stocks as a result of extraordinary market volatility. Extending the market-wide circuit breaker pilot under Rule 133 an additional six months would ensure the continued, uninterrupted operation of a consistent mechanism to halt trading across the U.S. markets while the Commission considers whether to approve the pilot on a permanent basis. The proposed rule change would thus promote fair and orderly markets and the protection of investors and the public interest. Based on the foregoing, the Exchange believes the benefits to market participants from the market-wide circuit breaker mechanism under Rule 133 should continue on a pilot basis while the Commission considers whether to permanently approve Rule 133.

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

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change implicates any competitive issues because the proposal would ensure the continued, uninterrupted operation of a consistent mechanism to halt trading across the U.S. markets while the Commission considers whether to permanently approve the market-wide circuit breaker mechanism under Rule 133. Further, the Exchange understands that FINRA and other national securities exchanges will file proposals to extend their rules regarding the market-wide circuit breaker pilot so that the market-wide circuit breaker mechanism may continue uninterrupted while the Commission considers whether to approve its operation on a permanent basis

    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 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, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [8] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[9]

    Start Printed Page 15260

    A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [10] normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of filing. However, pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii),[11] 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 upon filing. Extending the pilot for an additional six months will allow the uninterrupted operation of the existing pilot to halt trading across the U.S. markets while the Commission considers whether to approve the pilot on a permanent basis. The extension simply maintains the status quo. Therefore, the Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Commission hereby designates the proposed rule change to be operative upon filing.[12]

    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 Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-Phlx-2019-12. 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-2019-12, and should be submitted on or before May 6, 2019.

    Start Signature

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[13]

    Jill M. Peterson,

    Assistant Secretary.

    End Signature End Preamble

    Footnotes

    3.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 67091 (May 31, 2012), 77 FR 33498 (June 6, 2012) (the “Limit Up-Limit Down Release”).

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    4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 67090 (May 31, 2012), 77 FR 33531 (June 6, 2012) (SR-Phlx-2011-129) (Approval Order); and 68816 (February 1, 2013), 78 FR 9760 (February 11, 2013) (SR-Phlx-2013-11) (Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Delay the Operative Date of a Rule Change to Exchange Rule 133).

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    5.  See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 84843 (December 18, 2018), 83 FR 66464 (December 26, 2018) (Amendment No. 18 Proposing Release).

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    11.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(g)(iii).

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    12.  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).

    Back to Citation

    [FR Doc. 2019-07361 Filed 4-12-19; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 8011-01-P

Document Information

Published:
04/15/2019
Department:
Securities and Exchange Commission
EntryType:
Notice
Document Number:
2019-07361
Pages:
15258-15260 (3 pages)
Docket Numbers:
Release No. 34-85579, File No. SR-Phlx-2019-12
SectionNoes:
PDF File:
2019-07361.pdf