Self-Regulatory Organizations; Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc.; Order Granting Approval to Proposed Rule Change as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 Thereto, Relating to a Pilot Program To Quote Options in Penny Increments, 4553-4555 [E7-1508]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 20 / Wednesday, January 31, 2007 / Notices 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, and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers. 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 that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. 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 35 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 will: (A) By order approve such proposed rule change, or (B) Institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved. The Commission is considering granting accelerated approval of the proposed rule change at the end of a 15day comment period.7 mstockstill on PROD1PC62 with NOTICES 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 • Use the Commission’s Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/ rules/sro.shtml); or • Send an e-mail to rulecomments@sec.gov. Please include File No. SR–Phlx–2006–85 on the subject line. 7 Phlx has requested accelerated approval of this proposed rule change prior to the 30th day after the date of publication of the notice of the filing thereof. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:08 Jan 30, 2007 Jkt 211001 Paper Comments • Send paper comments in triplicate to Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, Station Place, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549–1090. 4553 SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–55153; File No. SR–Phlx– 2006–74] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc.; Order Granting Approval to Proposed All submissions should refer to File Rule Change as Modified by Number SR–Phlx–2006–85. This file Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 Thereto, number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. To help the Relating to a Pilot Program To Quote Options in Penny Increments Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use January 23, 2007. only one method. The Commission will I. Introduction post all comments on the Commission’s On November 13, 2006, the Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/ Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the (‘‘Phlx’’ or ‘‘Exchange’’) filed with the submission, all subsequent Securities and Exchange Commission amendments, all written statements (‘‘Commission’’), pursuant to Section with respect to the proposed rule 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act change that are filed with the of 1934 (‘‘Act’’),1 and Rule 19b–4 Commission, and all written thereunder,2 a proposed rule change to communications relating to the amend various Exchange rules to permit proposed rule change between the certain option classes to be quoted in Commission and any person, other than pennies on a pilot basis. On November those that may be withheld from the 22, 2006, the Exchange filed public in accordance with the Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be change. The Exchange filed Amendment available for inspection and copying in No. 2 to the proposed rule change on the Commission’s Public Reference December 5, 2006. The proposed rule Room. Copies of such filing also will be change, as modified by Amendment available for inspection and copying at Nos. 1 and 2, was published for the principal office of the Phlx. All comment in the Federal Register on comments received will be posted December 13, 2006.3 The Commission received no comment letters on the without change; the Commission does proposed rule change. This order not edit personal identifying approves the proposed rule change as information from submissions. You modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2. should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All II. Description of the Proposal submissions should refer to File A. Scope of the Penny Pilot Program Number SR–Phlx–2006–85 and should Phlx proposes to amend its rules to be submitted on or before February 15, permit certain option classes to be 2007. quoted in pennies during a six-month For the Commission, by the Division of pilot (‘‘Penny Pilot Program’’), which Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated would commence on January 26, 2007. authority.8 Specifically, proposed Phlx Rule Florence E. Harmon, 1034(a)(i)(B) would set forth the Deputy Secretary. parameters of the Penny Pilot Program. [FR Doc. E7–1506 Filed 1–30–07; 8:45 am] Currently, all six options exchanges, including Phlx, quote options in nickel BILLING CODE 8011–01–P and dime increments. The minimum price variation for quotations in options series that are quoted at less than $3 per contract is $0.05 and the minimum price variation for quotations in options series that are quoted at $3 per contract or greater is $0.10. Under the Penny Pilot Program, beginning on January 26, 2007, market participants would be able to begin quoting in penny increments in certain series of option classes. 1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). CFR 240.19b–4. 3 See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 54886 (December 6, 2006), 71 FR 74979. 2 17 8 17 PO 00000 CFR 200.30–3(a)(12). Frm 00077 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\31JAN1.SGM 31JAN1 4554 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 20 / Wednesday, January 31, 2007 / Notices mstockstill on PROD1PC62 with NOTICES The Penny Pilot Program would include the following thirteen options classes: Ishares Russell 2000 (IWM); NASDAQ–100 Index Tracking Stock (QQQQ); SemiConductor Holders Trust (SMH); General Electric Company (GE); Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD); Microsoft Corporation (MSFT); Intel Corporation (INTC); Caterpillar, Inc. (CAT); Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFMI); Texas Instruments, Inc. (TXN); Flextronics International Ltd. (FLEX); Sun Microsystems, Inc. (SUNW); and Agilent Technologies, Inc. (A). The Exchange would communicate the list of options to be included in the Penny Pilot Program to its membership via Exchange circular. The minimum price variation for all classes included in the Penny Pilot Program, except for the QQQQs, would be $0.01 for all quotations in option series that are quoted at less than $3 per contract and $0.05 for all quotations in option series that are quoted at $3 per contract or greater. The QQQQs would be quoted in $0.01 increments for all options series. Proposed Phlx Rule 1034(a)(i)(C) would require the Exchange to prepare and submit a report to the Commission during the fourth month of the pilot, which would be composed of data from the first three months of trading. The report would analyze the impact of penny quoting on market quality and options systems capacity. more than one minimum quoting increment.5 The Exchange currently provides automatic executions during crossed markets when the Exchange’s disseminated market is crossed by not more than one minimum quoting increment, or crosses the disseminated market of another options exchange by not more than one minimum quoting increment, and the Exchange’s disseminated price on the opposite side of the market for the incoming order establishes, or is equal to, the NBBO.6 The Exchange proposes to delete Phlx Rule 1080(c)(iv)(A), which would mean that the Exchange would provide automatic executions in options where the Exchange’s disseminated market is the NBBO 7 and is crossed, or crosses the disseminated market of another options exchange, regardless of the amount by which such market is crossed.8 C. Trade-Throughs Currently, Phlx Rule 1085(b) affords Exchange members several exemptions from Trade-Through liability and the requirements under Phlx’s rules and the Plan for the Purpose of Creating and Operating an Intermarket Option Linkage (‘‘Linkage Plan’’) concerning satisfaction of Trade-Throughs. Among the exemptions from such liability and satisfaction responsibility is current Phlx Rule 1085(b)(10), which provides an exemption when the Trade-Through B. Automatic Executions During Crossed was the result of an automatic execution when the Exchange’s disseminated Markets market is the NBBO and is crossed by The Exchange anticipates that the not more than one minimum quoting instance of crossed markets (where the increment (as defined in Phlx Rule bid price is greater than the offer price) will increase in options traded in penny 1034), or crosses the disseminated market of another options exchange by increments. Accordingly, the Exchange not more than one minimum quoting proposes to amend its rules concerning increment.9 automatic executions during crossed 4 providing markets, and its rule 5 See Phlx Rule 1080(c)(iv)(A). exceptions from Trade-Through liability 6 See Phlx Rule 1085(b)(10). See also Securities when a Trade-Through occurs due to an Exchange Act Release No. 53449 (March 8, 2006), 71 FR 13441 (March 15, 2006) (SR–Phlx–2005–45). automatic execution when the 7 The Exchange provides automatic executions Exchange’s disseminated market is only when its disseminated market is the NBBO. crossed, or crosses the disseminated See Phlx Rule 1080(c)(iv)(E). market of another options exchange, and 8 The Exchange notes that another options the Exchange’s disseminated price on exchange currently provides automatic executions during crossed markets regardless of the amount by the opposite side of the market for the which the market is crossed. See Securities incoming order establishes, or is equal Exchange Act Release No. 54229 (July 27, 2006), 71 to, the NBBO. FR 44058 (August 3, 2006) (SR–CBOE–2005–90). Currently, orders on the Exchange 9 The Commission exempted the Exchange from that are otherwise eligible for automatic the requirement under Rule 608(c) of Regulation NMS that Phlx comply, and enforce compliance by execution are handled manually by the its members, with Section 8(c) of Linkage Plan. specialist when the Exchange’s Section 8(c) of the Linkage Plan provides, in part, disseminated market is crossed by more that, ‘‘absent reasonable justification and during than one minimum quoting increment normal market conditions, members in (as defined in Phlx Rule 1034) (i.e., 2.10 [Participants’] markets should not effect Tradebid, 2 offer), or crosses the disseminated Throughs’’ in the limited situation when transactions are the result of an automatic execution market of another options exchange by when the Exchange’s disseminated market is the 4 See NBBO and is crossed by not more than one minimum trading increment (as defined in Phlx Phlx Rule 1085(b)(10). VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:08 Jan 30, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 To be consistent with the proposed rule change (described above) to provide automatic executions when the Exchange’s disseminated market is the NBBO regardless of the amount by which the market is crossed, the Exchange proposes to amend Phlx Rule 1085(b)(10) to exempt from such liability and satisfaction responsibility when the Trade-Through was the result of an automatic execution when the Exchange’s disseminated market is the NBBO and is crossed, or crosses the disseminated market of another options exchange. The proposed rule change would delete the current language contained in Phlx Rule 1085(b)(10) that limits the exemption from TradeThrough and satisfaction liability to automatic executions at the NBBO during markets that are crossed by one minimum trading increment. D. Zero-Bid Option Series Currently, Phlx Rule 1080(i) states that the Exchange’s AUTOM System will convert market orders to sell a particular option series to limit orders to sell with a limit price of $0.05 that are received when the bid price for such series is zero. The proposal would amend Phlx Rule 1080(i) to state that the system will convert such orders to limit orders to sell with a limit price of the minimum quoting increment applicable to such series. The effect of this with respect to options quoted and traded in minimum increments of $0.01 would be that such conversion would be to a limit order to sell at $0.01, rather than $0.05. E. Quote Mitigation To mitigate quote traffic, the Exchange proposes to amend Phlx Rule 1082, Firm Quotations, by adopting new Phlx Rule 1082(a)(ii)(C), which would modify the Exchange’s definition of ‘‘disseminated size’’ such that the Exchange will disseminate fewer updated quotations. Specifically, proposed Phlx Rule 1082(a)(ii)(C) would set forth the conditions under which the Exchange would disseminate updated quotations based on changes in the Exchange’s disseminated price and/or size. The proposed rule would require the Exchange to disseminate an updated bid and offer price, together with the size associated with such bid and offer, when: (1) The Exchange’s disseminated bid or offer price increases or decreases; (2) the size associated with the Rule 1034), or crosses the disseminated market of another options exchange by not more than one minimum trading increment. See letter from Robert L.D. Colby to Meyer S. Frucher, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Phlx, dated March 8, 2006. E:\FR\FM\31JAN1.SGM 31JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 20 / Wednesday, January 31, 2007 / Notices mstockstill on PROD1PC62 with NOTICES Exchange’s disseminated bid or offer decreases; or (3) the size associated with the Exchange’s bid (offer) increases by an amount greater than or equal to a percentage (never to exceed 20%) of the size associated with the previously disseminated bid (offer). Such percentage, which would never exceed 20%, would be determined on an issueby-issue basis by the Exchange and announced to membership via Exchange circular. The percentage size increase necessary to give rise to a refreshed quote may vary from issue to issue, depending, without limitation, on the liquidity, average volume, and average number of quotations submitted in the issue. Proposed Phlx Rule 1082(b)(ii)(C) would not be limited to options included in the pilot, and would apply to all options traded on the Exchange. The Exchange represents that participants on its system would not be notified of any incremental increase in the size of the Exchange’s quote under proposed Phlx Rule 1082(a)(ii)(C)(3) until such quote is disseminated to OPRA. Therefore, no participant on the Exchange’s system would have information that is unavailable to another participant. III. Discussion After careful review of the proposal, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange.10 In particular, the Commission finds that the proposal is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,11 which requires, among other things, that the rules of an exchange be 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 Commission believes that the implementation of a limited six-month Penny Pilot Program by Phlx and the five other options exchanges will provide valuable information to the exchanges, the Commission and others about the impact of penny quoting in the options market. In particular, the Penny Pilot Program will allow analysis of the impact of penny quoting on: (1) Spreads; (2) transaction costs; (3) payment for order flow; and (4) quote message traffic. 10 In approving this proposed rule change the Commission notes that it has considered the proposed rule’s impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f). 11 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5). VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:08 Jan 30, 2007 Jkt 211001 The Commission believes that the thirteen options classes to be included in the penny pilot program represent a diverse group of options classes with varied trading characteristics. This diversity should facilitate analyses by the Commission, the options exchanges and others. The Commission also believes that the Penny Pilot Program is sufficiently limited that it is unlikely to increase quote message traffic beyond the capacity of market participants’ systems and disrupt the timely receipt of quote information. Nevertheless, because the Commission expects that the Penny Pilot Program will increase quote message traffic, the Commission is simultaneously approving the Exchange’s proposals to reduce the number of quotations it disseminates.12 In addition, the Commission believes that Phlx’s proposed deletion of Phlx Rule 1080(c)(iv)(A) and proposed conforming changes to Phlx Rule 1085(b)(10) is consistent with the Act and will facilitate the prompt resolution of crossed markets by permitting automatic executions when the Exchange’s disseminated market is the NBBO and is crossed, or crosses the disseminated market of another options exchange, regardless of the amount by which the market is crossed.13 Finally, the Commission believes that it is consistent with the Act for Phlx to update its rule governing Zero-Bid Options Series to provide that the system will convert such orders to limit 12 In addition to the quote mitigation proposal discussed herein, Phlx also proposed other quote mitigation strategies. See e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release No. 54648 (October 24, 2006), 71 FR 63375 (October 30, 2006) (SR–Phlx–2006–52); No. 54807 (November 21, 2006), 71 FR 69173 (November 29, 2006) (SR–Phlx–2006–53); 54859 (December 1, 2006), 71 FR 71605 (December 11, 2006) (SR–Phlx–2006–51); 54914 (December 11, 2006), 71 FR 75798 (December 18, 2006) (SR–Phlx– 2006–81). 13 The exemption Phlx received from the requirement under Rule 608(c) of Regulation NMS that Phlx comply, and enforce compliance by its members, with Section 8(c) of Linkage Plan regarding trade-throughs on March 8, 2006 (see note 9, supra) was limited to transactions when the market was crossed by one minimum trading increment. Therefore, Phlx submitted an exemption request to expand the scope of the exemption to include trade-throughs resulting from automatic executions while the Exchange’s disseminated market is crossed, or crosses the disseminated market of another options exchange, and the Exchange’s disseminated price on the opposite side of the market for the incoming order establishes, or is equal to, the NBBO, regardless of the amount by which the market is crossed. See letter from Richard S. Rudolph, Vice President and Counsel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Phlx, to Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, Commission, dated January 19, 2006. The Commission granted this exemption request on January 23, 2007. See letter from Elizabeth K. King, Associate Director, Commission, to Richard S. Rudolph, Vice President and Counsel, Phlx, dated January 23, 2006. PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 4555 orders to sell with a limit price of the minimum quoting increment applicable to such series, in order that options quoted and traded in minimum increments of $0.01 pursuant to the Penny Pilot Program would convert to a limit order to sell at $0.01, rather than $0.05. IV. Conclusion It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,14 that the proposed rule change (SR–Phlx–2006– 74), as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, be, and hereby is, approved on a six month pilot basis, which will commence on January 26, 2007. For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.15 Florence E. Harmon, Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. E7–1508 Filed 1–30–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011–01–P DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 5670] Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Meeting Notice; Closed Meeting The Department of State announces a meeting of the U.S. State Department— Overseas Security Advisory Council on February 22, 2007 at the Boeing Company, Arlington, Virginia. Pursuant to Section 10 (d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act and 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(4), it has been determined that the meeting will be closed to the public. The meeting will focus on an examination of corporate security policies and procedures and will involve extensive discussion of proprietary commercial and financial information that is considered privileged and confidential. The agenda will include updated committee reports, a global threat overview, and other matters relating to private sector security policies and protective programs and the protection of U.S. business information overseas. For more information, contact Marsha Thurman, Overseas Security Advisory Council, Department of State, Washington, DC 20522–2008, phone: 571–345–2214. Dated: January 17, 2007. Joe D. Morton, Director of the Diplomatic Security Service, Department of State. [FR Doc. E7–1527 Filed 1–30–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–43–P 14 15 15 17 E:\FR\FM\31JAN1.SGM U.S.C. 78s(b)(2). CFR 200.30–3(a)(12). 31JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 20 (Wednesday, January 31, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4553-4555]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-1508]


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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

[Release No. 34-55153; File No. SR-Phlx-2006-74]


Self-Regulatory Organizations; Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc.; 
Order Granting Approval to Proposed Rule Change as Modified by 
Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 Thereto, Relating to a Pilot Program To Quote 
Options in Penny Increments

January 23, 2007.

I. Introduction

    On November 13, 2006, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. 
(``Phlx'' or ``Exchange'') filed with the Securities and Exchange 
Commission (``Commission''), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the 
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (``Act''),\1\ and Rule 19b-4 
thereunder,\2\ a proposed rule change to amend various Exchange rules 
to permit certain option classes to be quoted in pennies on a pilot 
basis. On November 22, 2006, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the 
proposed rule change. The Exchange filed Amendment No. 2 to the 
proposed rule change on December 5, 2006. The proposed rule change, as 
modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, was published for comment in the 
Federal Register on December 13, 2006.\3\ The Commission received no 
comment letters on the proposed rule change. This order approves the 
proposed rule change as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).
    \2\ 17 CFR 240.19b-4.
    \3\ See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 54886 (December 6, 
2006), 71 FR 74979.
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II. Description of the Proposal

A. Scope of the Penny Pilot Program

    Phlx proposes to amend its rules to permit certain option classes 
to be quoted in pennies during a six-month pilot (``Penny Pilot 
Program''), which would commence on January 26, 2007. Specifically, 
proposed Phlx Rule 1034(a)(i)(B) would set forth the parameters of the 
Penny Pilot Program.
    Currently, all six options exchanges, including Phlx, quote options 
in nickel and dime increments. The minimum price variation for 
quotations in options series that are quoted at less than $3 per 
contract is $0.05 and the minimum price variation for quotations in 
options series that are quoted at $3 per contract or greater is $0.10. 
Under the Penny Pilot Program, beginning on January 26, 2007, market 
participants would be able to begin quoting in penny increments in 
certain series of option classes.

[[Page 4554]]

    The Penny Pilot Program would include the following thirteen 
options classes: Ishares Russell 2000 (IWM); NASDAQ-100 Index Tracking 
Stock (QQQQ); SemiConductor Holders Trust (SMH); General Electric 
Company (GE); Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD); Microsoft Corporation 
(MSFT); Intel Corporation (INTC); Caterpillar, Inc. (CAT); Whole Foods 
Market, Inc. (WFMI); Texas Instruments, Inc. (TXN); Flextronics 
International Ltd. (FLEX); Sun Microsystems, Inc. (SUNW); and Agilent 
Technologies, Inc. (A). The Exchange would communicate the list of 
options to be included in the Penny Pilot Program to its membership via 
Exchange circular.
    The minimum price variation for all classes included in the Penny 
Pilot Program, except for the QQQQs, would be $0.01 for all quotations 
in option series that are quoted at less than $3 per contract and $0.05 
for all quotations in option series that are quoted at $3 per contract 
or greater. The QQQQs would be quoted in $0.01 increments for all 
options series.
    Proposed Phlx Rule 1034(a)(i)(C) would require the Exchange to 
prepare and submit a report to the Commission during the fourth month 
of the pilot, which would be composed of data from the first three 
months of trading. The report would analyze the impact of penny quoting 
on market quality and options systems capacity.

B. Automatic Executions During Crossed Markets

    The Exchange anticipates that the instance of crossed markets 
(where the bid price is greater than the offer price) will increase in 
options traded in penny increments. Accordingly, the Exchange proposes 
to amend its rules concerning automatic executions during crossed 
markets, and its rule \4\ providing exceptions from Trade-Through 
liability when a Trade-Through occurs due to an automatic execution 
when the Exchange's disseminated market is crossed, or crosses the 
disseminated market of another options exchange, and the Exchange's 
disseminated price on the opposite side of the market for the incoming 
order establishes, or is equal to, the NBBO.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ See Phlx Rule 1085(b)(10).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Currently, orders on the Exchange that are otherwise eligible for 
automatic execution are handled manually by the specialist when the 
Exchange's disseminated market is crossed by more than one minimum 
quoting increment (as defined in Phlx Rule 1034) (i.e., 2.10 bid, 2 
offer), or crosses the disseminated market of another options exchange 
by more than one minimum quoting increment.\5\ The Exchange currently 
provides automatic executions during crossed markets when the 
Exchange's disseminated market is crossed by not more than one minimum 
quoting increment, or crosses the disseminated market of another 
options exchange by not more than one minimum quoting increment, and 
the Exchange's disseminated price on the opposite side of the market 
for the incoming order establishes, or is equal to, the NBBO.\6\ The 
Exchange proposes to delete Phlx Rule 1080(c)(iv)(A), which would mean 
that the Exchange would provide automatic executions in options where 
the Exchange's disseminated market is the NBBO \7\ and is crossed, or 
crosses the disseminated market of another options exchange, regardless 
of the amount by which such market is crossed.\8\
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    \5\ See Phlx Rule 1080(c)(iv)(A).
    \6\ See Phlx Rule 1085(b)(10). See also Securities Exchange Act 
Release No. 53449 (March 8, 2006), 71 FR 13441 (March 15, 2006) (SR-
Phlx-2005-45).
    \7\ The Exchange provides automatic executions only when its 
disseminated market is the NBBO. See Phlx Rule 1080(c)(iv)(E).
    \8\ The Exchange notes that another options exchange currently 
provides automatic executions during crossed markets regardless of 
the amount by which the market is crossed. See Securities Exchange 
Act Release No. 54229 (July 27, 2006), 71 FR 44058 (August 3, 2006) 
(SR-CBOE-2005-90).
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C. Trade-Throughs

    Currently, Phlx Rule 1085(b) affords Exchange members several 
exemptions from Trade-Through liability and the requirements under 
Phlx's rules and the Plan for the Purpose of Creating and Operating an 
Intermarket Option Linkage (``Linkage Plan'') concerning satisfaction 
of Trade-Throughs. Among the exemptions from such liability and 
satisfaction responsibility is current Phlx Rule 1085(b)(10), which 
provides an exemption when the Trade-Through was the result of an 
automatic execution when the Exchange's disseminated market is the NBBO 
and is crossed by not more than one minimum quoting increment (as 
defined in Phlx Rule 1034), or crosses the disseminated market of 
another options exchange by not more than one minimum quoting 
increment.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ The Commission exempted the Exchange from the requirement 
under Rule 608(c) of Regulation NMS that Phlx comply, and enforce 
compliance by its members, with Section 8(c) of Linkage Plan. 
Section 8(c) of the Linkage Plan provides, in part, that, ``absent 
reasonable justification and during normal market conditions, 
members in [Participants'] markets should not effect Trade-
Throughs'' in the limited situation when transactions are the result 
of an automatic execution when the Exchange's disseminated market is 
the NBBO and is crossed by not more than one minimum trading 
increment (as defined in Phlx Rule 1034), or crosses the 
disseminated market of another options exchange by not more than one 
minimum trading increment. See letter from Robert L.D. Colby to 
Meyer S. Frucher, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Phlx, dated 
March 8, 2006.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To be consistent with the proposed rule change (described above) to 
provide automatic executions when the Exchange's disseminated market is 
the NBBO regardless of the amount by which the market is crossed, the 
Exchange proposes to amend Phlx Rule 1085(b)(10) to exempt from such 
liability and satisfaction responsibility when the Trade-Through was 
the result of an automatic execution when the Exchange's disseminated 
market is the NBBO and is crossed, or crosses the disseminated market 
of another options exchange. The proposed rule change would delete the 
current language contained in Phlx Rule 1085(b)(10) that limits the 
exemption from Trade-Through and satisfaction liability to automatic 
executions at the NBBO during markets that are crossed by one minimum 
trading increment.

D. Zero-Bid Option Series

    Currently, Phlx Rule 1080(i) states that the Exchange's AUTOM 
System will convert market orders to sell a particular option series to 
limit orders to sell with a limit price of $0.05 that are received when 
the bid price for such series is zero. The proposal would amend Phlx 
Rule 1080(i) to state that the system will convert such orders to limit 
orders to sell with a limit price of the minimum quoting increment 
applicable to such series. The effect of this with respect to options 
quoted and traded in minimum increments of $0.01 would be that such 
conversion would be to a limit order to sell at $0.01, rather than 
$0.05.

E. Quote Mitigation

    To mitigate quote traffic, the Exchange proposes to amend Phlx Rule 
1082, Firm Quotations, by adopting new Phlx Rule 1082(a)(ii)(C), which 
would modify the Exchange's definition of ``disseminated size'' such 
that the Exchange will disseminate fewer updated quotations.
    Specifically, proposed Phlx Rule 1082(a)(ii)(C) would set forth the 
conditions under which the Exchange would disseminate updated 
quotations based on changes in the Exchange's disseminated price and/or 
size. The proposed rule would require the Exchange to disseminate an 
updated bid and offer price, together with the size associated with 
such bid and offer, when: (1) The Exchange's disseminated bid or offer 
price increases or decreases; (2) the size associated with the

[[Page 4555]]

Exchange's disseminated bid or offer decreases; or (3) the size 
associated with the Exchange's bid (offer) increases by an amount 
greater than or equal to a percentage (never to exceed 20%) of the size 
associated with the previously disseminated bid (offer). Such 
percentage, which would never exceed 20%, would be determined on an 
issue-by-issue basis by the Exchange and announced to membership via 
Exchange circular. The percentage size increase necessary to give rise 
to a refreshed quote may vary from issue to issue, depending, without 
limitation, on the liquidity, average volume, and average number of 
quotations submitted in the issue. Proposed Phlx Rule 1082(b)(ii)(C) 
would not be limited to options included in the pilot, and would apply 
to all options traded on the Exchange.
    The Exchange represents that participants on its system would not 
be notified of any incremental increase in the size of the Exchange's 
quote under proposed Phlx Rule 1082(a)(ii)(C)(3) until such quote is 
disseminated to OPRA. Therefore, no participant on the Exchange's 
system would have information that is unavailable to another 
participant.

III. Discussion

    After careful review of the proposal, the Commission finds that the 
proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, is 
consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and 
regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities 
exchange.\10\ In particular, the Commission finds that the proposal is 
consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,\11\ which requires, among 
other things, that the rules of an exchange be 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ In approving this proposed rule change the Commission notes 
that it has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, 
competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).
    \11\ 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission believes that the implementation of a limited six-
month Penny Pilot Program by Phlx and the five other options exchanges 
will provide valuable information to the exchanges, the Commission and 
others about the impact of penny quoting in the options market. In 
particular, the Penny Pilot Program will allow analysis of the impact 
of penny quoting on: (1) Spreads; (2) transaction costs; (3) payment 
for order flow; and (4) quote message traffic.
    The Commission believes that the thirteen options classes to be 
included in the penny pilot program represent a diverse group of 
options classes with varied trading characteristics. This diversity 
should facilitate analyses by the Commission, the options exchanges and 
others. The Commission also believes that the Penny Pilot Program is 
sufficiently limited that it is unlikely to increase quote message 
traffic beyond the capacity of market participants' systems and disrupt 
the timely receipt of quote information.
    Nevertheless, because the Commission expects that the Penny Pilot 
Program will increase quote message traffic, the Commission is 
simultaneously approving the Exchange's proposals to reduce the number 
of quotations it disseminates.\12\
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    \12\ In addition to the quote mitigation proposal discussed 
herein, Phlx also proposed other quote mitigation strategies. See 
e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release No. 54648 (October 24, 2006), 
71 FR 63375 (October 30, 2006) (SR-Phlx-2006-52); No. 54807 
(November 21, 2006), 71 FR 69173 (November 29, 2006) (SR-Phlx-2006-
53); 54859 (December 1, 2006), 71 FR 71605 (December 11, 2006) (SR-
Phlx-2006-51); 54914 (December 11, 2006), 71 FR 75798 (December 18, 
2006) (SR-Phlx-2006-81).
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    In addition, the Commission believes that Phlx's proposed deletion 
of Phlx Rule 1080(c)(iv)(A) and proposed conforming changes to Phlx 
Rule 1085(b)(10) is consistent with the Act and will facilitate the 
prompt resolution of crossed markets by permitting automatic executions 
when the Exchange's disseminated market is the NBBO and is crossed, or 
crosses the disseminated market of another options exchange, regardless 
of the amount by which the market is crossed.\13\
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    \13\ The exemption Phlx received from the requirement under Rule 
608(c) of Regulation NMS that Phlx comply, and enforce compliance by 
its members, with Section 8(c) of Linkage Plan regarding trade-
throughs on March 8, 2006 (see note 9, supra) was limited to 
transactions when the market was crossed by one minimum trading 
increment. Therefore, Phlx submitted an exemption request to expand 
the scope of the exemption to include trade-throughs resulting from 
automatic executions while the Exchange's disseminated market is 
crossed, or crosses the disseminated market of another options 
exchange, and the Exchange's disseminated price on the opposite side 
of the market for the incoming order establishes, or is equal to, 
the NBBO, regardless of the amount by which the market is crossed. 
See letter from Richard S. Rudolph, Vice President and Counsel, 
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Phlx, to Nancy M. Morris, 
Secretary, Commission, dated January 19, 2006. The Commission 
granted this exemption request on January 23, 2007. See letter from 
Elizabeth K. King, Associate Director, Commission, to Richard S. 
Rudolph, Vice President and Counsel, Phlx, dated January 23, 2006.
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    Finally, the Commission believes that it is consistent with the Act 
for Phlx to update its rule governing Zero-Bid Options Series to 
provide that the system will convert such orders to limit orders to 
sell with a limit price of the minimum quoting increment applicable to 
such series, in order that options quoted and traded in minimum 
increments of $0.01 pursuant to the Penny Pilot Program would convert 
to a limit order to sell at $0.01, rather than $0.05.

IV. Conclusion

    It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the 
Act,\14\ that the proposed rule change (SR-Phlx-2006-74), as modified 
by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, be, and hereby is, approved on a six month 
pilot basis, which will commence on January 26, 2007.
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    \14\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, 
pursuant to delegated authority.\15\
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    \15\ 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).
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Florence E. Harmon,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. E7-1508 Filed 1-30-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P