Self-Regulatory Organizations; American Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change To Expand, and Make Permanent, the $1 Strike Price Program, 2292-2294 [E8-390]

Download as PDF 2292 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 9 / Monday, January 14, 2008 / Notices Section 6(b) of the Act 4 in general and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) 5 in particular, 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 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. B. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement on Burden on Competition The proposed rule change does not 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 solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change. 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 self-regulatory organization 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. 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: Paper Comments • Send paper comments in triplicate to Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549–1090. All submissions should refer to File No. SR–Amex–2007–36. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail 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 inspection and copying in the Commission’s Public Reference Room, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Copies of such 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 No. SR–Amex–2007–36 and should be submitted on or before February 4, 2008. For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.6 Florence E. Harmon, Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. E8–349 Filed 1–11–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011–01–P rmajette on PROD1PC64 with NOTICES 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–Amex–2007–36 on the subject line. 4 15 5 15 15:22 Jan 11, 2008 [Release No. 34–57110; File No. SR–Amex– 2007–141] Self-Regulatory Organizations; American Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change To Expand, and Make Permanent, the $1 Strike Price Program January 8, 2008. 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 December 21, 2007, the American Stock Exchange LLC (‘‘Amex’’ or ‘‘Exchange’’) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been substantially prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice and order to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons and to grant accelerated approval to the proposed rule change. I. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change The Exchange proposes to expand, and make permanent, the $1 Strike Price Program (the ‘‘Program’’). The text of the proposed rule change is available at Amex, the Commission’s Public Reference Room, and http:// www.amex.com. 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 III below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements. 1 15 U.S.C. 78f(b). U.S.C. 78f(b)(5). VerDate Aug<31>2005 SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 6 17 Jkt 214001 PO 00000 CFR 200.30–3(a)(12). Frm 00081 Fmt 4703 2 17 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\14JAN1.SGM U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). CFR 240.19b–4. 14JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 9 / Monday, January 14, 2008 / Notices A. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose The current Program 3 permits the Exchange to select a total of five (5) individual stocks on which options series may be listed at $1 strike price intervals. To be eligible for the Program, an underlying stock must close below $20 in its primary market on the previous trading day. If selected, the Exchange may list strike prices at $1 intervals from $3 to $20; however, a $1 strike price may not be listed that is greater than $5 from the underlying stock’s closing price in the primary market on the previous day. The Exchange may also list $1 strikes on any other option class designated by another options exchange that employs a similar Program approved by the Commission. The Program prohibits the Exchange from listing $1 strikes on any series of individual equity option classes that have greater than nine (9) months until expiration. In addition, the Exchange is also restricted from listing any series that would result in strike prices being $0.50 apart. The Exchange proposes to expand the Program to permit Amex to select a total of ten (10) individual stocks on which option series may be listed at $1 strike price intervals. The Exchange also proposes to expand the strike price range on which it may list $1 strikes. The proposed new strike price range will be $3–$50. The existing restrictions on listing strike prices will remain the same as before: (1) No strike price may be listed that is greater than $5 from the underlying stock’s closing price in its primary market on the previous trading day; and (2) the Exchange is restricted from listing any series that would result in strike prices being more than $0.50 apart. The Exchange believes that one point strike price intervals in selected equity options provide investors with more flexibility in the trading of equity rmajette on PROD1PC64 with NOTICES 3 The Commission approved the Program on June 12, 2003. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 48024 (June 12, 2003), 68 FR 36617 (June 18, 2003) (SR–Amex–2003–36). The Commission subsequently approved, through June 5, 2008, four (4) one-year extensions of the Program. See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 49813 (June 4, 2004), 69 FR 33088 (June 14, 2004) (SR–Amex– 2004–45) (extending the Program through June 5, 2005); 51770 (May 31, 2005), 70 FR 33226 (June 7, 2005) (SR–Amex–2005–040) (extending the Program through June 5, 2006); 53843 (May 19, 2006), 71 FR 30455 (May 26, 2006) (SR–Amex– 2006–49) (extending the Program through June 5, 2007); and 55714 (May 7, 2007), 72 FR 26853 (May 11, 2007) (SR–Amex–2007–43) (extending the Program through June 5, 2008). VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:22 Jan 11, 2008 Jkt 214001 options that overlie lower priced stocks by allowing investors to establish equity options positions that are better tailored to meet their investment objectives.4 To date, the Exchange believes that the Program has been beneficial to investors and the options market by providing investors with greater flexibility in the trading of equity options that overlie stocks trading below $20. The Exchange represents that there has been a demand by member firms for the expansion of the Program, both in terms of the number of classes which can be selected and the range in which $1 strikes may be listed. The Exchange believes that by increasing the number of stocks subject to the $1 strike price intervals to ten (10) and increasing the strike price range ceiling to $50, up from $20, investors will enjoy even greater flexibility in achieving their investment objectives through various strategies. Because the Program has been very successful, the Exchange requests that the Program be approved on a permanent basis. The Exchange believes that permanent approval, along with the proposed expansion, is reasonable and consistent with the intent of the Program. With regard to the impact on systems capacities, the Exchange represents that the overall impact on capacity is still minimal and that it has sufficient capacity to handle an expansion of the Program, as proposed. 2. Statutory Basis The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with section 6(b) of the Act,5 in general, and furthers the objectives of section 6(b)(5) of the Act,6 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. B. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement on Burden on Competition The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change will impose no burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. 4 See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 48024 (June 12, 2003), 68 FR 36617 (June 18, 2003) (SR– Amex–2003–36). 5 15 U.S.C. 78f(b). 6 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5). PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2293 C. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others The Exchange states that no written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change. III. 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 Number SR–Amex–2007–141 on the subject line. Paper Comments • Send paper comments in triplicate to Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549–1090. All submissions should refer to File Number SR–Amex–2007–141. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail 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 inspection and copying in the Commission’s Public Reference Room, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal offices 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 E:\FR\FM\14JAN1.SGM 14JAN1 2294 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 9 / Monday, January 14, 2008 / Notices rmajette on PROD1PC64 with NOTICES Number SR–Amex–2007–141 and should be submitted on or before February 4, 2008. IV. Commission’s Findings and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of the Proposed Rule Change After careful review, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange.7 In particular, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with section 6(b)(5) of the Act 8 in that it is designed 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 Commission believes that the proposed expansion to permit the Exchange to select a total of 10 individual underlying stocks trading at less than $50 on which option series may be listed at $1 strike price intervals, and the request to make the Program permanent, should provide investors with added flexibility in the trading of equity options and further the public interest by allowing investors to establish equity options positions that are better tailored to meet their investment objectives. The Commission also believes that the proposal strikes a reasonable balance between the Exchange’s desire to accommodate market participants by offering a wider array of investment opportunities and the need to avoid unnecessary proliferation of options series and the corresponding increase in quotes. The Commission notes that the existing restrictions on listing $1 strike price intervals will continue to apply, e.g., no $1 strike price may be listed (a) that is greater than $5 from the underlying stock’s closing price in its primary market on the previous day, or (b) that would result in strike prices being $0.50 apart. The Commission expects the Exchange to continue to monitor for options with little or no open interest and trading activity and to act promptly to delist such options. In addition, the Commission expects that Amex will 7 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). 8 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5). VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:22 Jan 11, 2008 Jkt 214001 continue to monitor the trading volume associated with the additional options series listed as a result of this proposal and the effect of these additional series on market fragmentation and on the capacity of the Exchange’s, OPRA’s, and vendors’ automated systems. The Commission finds good cause for approving the proposed rule change before the 30th day after the date of publication of notice of filing thereof in the Federal Register. The Commission has recently approved a substantially similar proposal submitted by the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated, which was published for notice and comment.9 Accelerating approval of this proposal will allow Amex the same flexibility with respect to the listing of $1 strikes, creating additional competition in the market for options listed and traded under the Program.10 Therefore, the Commission finds good cause, consistent with section 19(b)(2) of the Act,11 to approve the proposed rule change on an accelerated basis. V. Conclusion It is therefore ordered, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act,12 that the proposed rule change (SR–Amex–2007– 141) be, and it hereby is, approved on an accelerated basis. For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.13 Florence E. Harmon, Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. E8–390 Filed 1–11–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011–01–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Release No. 34–57108; File No. SR–BSE– 2007–54] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Boston Stock Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, To Amend the MRVP of the Boston Options Exchange With Respect to Contrary Exercise Advice Violations January 7, 2008. Pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 9 See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 57049 (December 27, 2007), 73 FR 528 (January 3, 2008) (SR–CBOE–2007–125). 10 Telephone conversation between Andrea Williams, Assistant General Counsel, Amex, and Edward Cho, Special Counsel, Division of Trading and Markets, Commission, dated January 4, 2008. 11 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2). 12 Id. 13 17 CFR 200.30–3(a)(12). PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (‘‘Act’’) 1 and Rule 19b–4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on December 20, 2007, the Boston Stock Exchange, Inc. (‘‘BSE’’ or ‘‘Exchange’’) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared substantially by the BSE. On January 7, 2008, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change.3 The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 1, 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 Boston Options Exchange (‘‘BOX’’) rules related to Contrary Exercise Advice violations. The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange’s Web site (http://www.bostonstock.com), at the BSE’s principal office, 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 increase and strengthen the sanctions imposed pursuant to its Minor Rule Violation Plan (‘‘MRVP’’) on any member who fails to submit to the Exchange in a timely manner, pursuant to BOX Rules Chapter X, section 2(f), ‘‘Contrary Exercise Advice Violations’’ or exercise instruction relating to the exercise or nonexercise of a noncash-settled equity option. The Exchange believes that increasing the fine levels specified with 1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). CFR 240.19b–4. 3 Amendment No. 1 revised the proposed rule text to clarify how fines for the third and subsequent offenses would be imposed. 2 17 E:\FR\FM\14JAN1.SGM 14JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 9 (Monday, January 14, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2292-2294]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-390]


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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

[Release No. 34-57110; File No. SR-Amex-2007-141]


Self-Regulatory Organizations; American Stock Exchange LLC; 
Notice of Filing and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Proposed 
Rule Change To Expand, and Make Permanent, the $1 Strike Price Program

January 8, 2008.
    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 December 21, 2007, the American Stock Exchange LLC (``Amex'' or 
``Exchange'') filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission 
(``Commission'') the proposed rule change as described in Items I and 
II below, which Items have been substantially prepared by the Exchange. 
The Commission is publishing this notice and order to solicit comments 
on the proposed rule change from interested persons and to grant 
accelerated approval to the proposed rule change.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \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 expand, and make permanent, the $1 Strike 
Price Program (the ``Program''). The text of the proposed rule change 
is available at Amex, the Commission's Public Reference Room, and 
http://www.amex.com.

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 III below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in 
sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such 
statements.

[[Page 2293]]

A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and 
Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose
    The current Program \3\ permits the Exchange to select a total of 
five (5) individual stocks on which options series may be listed at $1 
strike price intervals. To be eligible for the Program, an underlying 
stock must close below $20 in its primary market on the previous 
trading day. If selected, the Exchange may list strike prices at $1 
intervals from $3 to $20; however, a $1 strike price may not be listed 
that is greater than $5 from the underlying stock's closing price in 
the primary market on the previous day. The Exchange may also list $1 
strikes on any other option class designated by another options 
exchange that employs a similar Program approved by the Commission.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ The Commission approved the Program on June 12, 2003. See 
Securities Exchange Act Release No. 48024 (June 12, 2003), 68 FR 
36617 (June 18, 2003) (SR-Amex-2003-36). The Commission subsequently 
approved, through June 5, 2008, four (4) one-year extensions of the 
Program. See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 49813 (June 4, 
2004), 69 FR 33088 (June 14, 2004) (SR-Amex-2004-45) (extending the 
Program through June 5, 2005); 51770 (May 31, 2005), 70 FR 33226 
(June 7, 2005) (SR-Amex-2005-040) (extending the Program through 
June 5, 2006); 53843 (May 19, 2006), 71 FR 30455 (May 26, 2006) (SR-
Amex-2006-49) (extending the Program through June 5, 2007); and 
55714 (May 7, 2007), 72 FR 26853 (May 11, 2007) (SR-Amex-2007-43) 
(extending the Program through June 5, 2008).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Program prohibits the Exchange from listing $1 strikes on any 
series of individual equity option classes that have greater than nine 
(9) months until expiration. In addition, the Exchange is also 
restricted from listing any series that would result in strike prices 
being $0.50 apart.
    The Exchange proposes to expand the Program to permit Amex to 
select a total of ten (10) individual stocks on which option series may 
be listed at $1 strike price intervals. The Exchange also proposes to 
expand the strike price range on which it may list $1 strikes. The 
proposed new strike price range will be $3-$50. The existing 
restrictions on listing strike prices will remain the same as before: 
(1) No strike price may be listed that is greater than $5 from the 
underlying stock's closing price in its primary market on the previous 
trading day; and (2) the Exchange is restricted from listing any series 
that would result in strike prices being more than $0.50 apart.
    The Exchange believes that one point strike price intervals in 
selected equity options provide investors with more flexibility in the 
trading of equity options that overlie lower priced stocks by allowing 
investors to establish equity options positions that are better 
tailored to meet their investment objectives.\4\ To date, the Exchange 
believes that the Program has been beneficial to investors and the 
options market by providing investors with greater flexibility in the 
trading of equity options that overlie stocks trading below $20. The 
Exchange represents that there has been a demand by member firms for 
the expansion of the Program, both in terms of the number of classes 
which can be selected and the range in which $1 strikes may be listed. 
The Exchange believes that by increasing the number of stocks subject 
to the $1 strike price intervals to ten (10) and increasing the strike 
price range ceiling to $50, up from $20, investors will enjoy even 
greater flexibility in achieving their investment objectives through 
various strategies. Because the Program has been very successful, the 
Exchange requests that the Program be approved on a permanent basis. 
The Exchange believes that permanent approval, along with the proposed 
expansion, is reasonable and consistent with the intent of the Program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 48024 (June 12, 
2003), 68 FR 36617 (June 18, 2003) (SR-Amex-2003-36).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With regard to the impact on systems capacities, the Exchange 
represents that the overall impact on capacity is still minimal and 
that it has sufficient capacity to handle an expansion of the Program, 
as proposed.
2. Statutory Basis
    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent 
with section 6(b) of the Act,\5\ in general, and furthers the 
objectives of section 6(b)(5) of the Act,\6\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).
    \6\ 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change will impose no 
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

    The Exchange states that no written comments were solicited or 
received with respect to the proposed rule change.

III. 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 rule-comments@sec.gov. Please include 
File Number SR-Amex-2007-141 on the subject line.

Paper Comments

     Send paper comments in triplicate to Nancy M. Morris, 
Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE., 
Washington, DC 20549-1090.
    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-Amex-2007-141. This 
file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail 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 inspection 
and copying in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street, 
NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours 
of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for 
inspection and copying at the principal offices 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

[[Page 2294]]

Number SR-Amex-2007-141 and should be submitted on or before February 
4, 2008.

IV. Commission's Findings and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of 
the Proposed Rule Change

    After careful review, the Commission finds that the proposed rule 
change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and 
regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange.\7\ 
In particular, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is 
consistent with section 6(b)(5) of the Act \8\ in that it is designed 
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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ 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).
    \8\ 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Specifically, the Commission believes that the proposed expansion 
to permit the Exchange to select a total of 10 individual underlying 
stocks trading at less than $50 on which option series may be listed at 
$1 strike price intervals, and the request to make the Program 
permanent, should provide investors with added flexibility in the 
trading of equity options and further the public interest by allowing 
investors to establish equity options positions that are better 
tailored to meet their investment objectives. The Commission also 
believes that the proposal strikes a reasonable balance between the 
Exchange's desire to accommodate market participants by offering a 
wider array of investment opportunities and the need to avoid 
unnecessary proliferation of options series and the corresponding 
increase in quotes. The Commission notes that the existing restrictions 
on listing $1 strike price intervals will continue to apply, e.g., no 
$1 strike price may be listed (a) that is greater than $5 from the 
underlying stock's closing price in its primary market on the previous 
day, or (b) that would result in strike prices being $0.50 apart.
    The Commission expects the Exchange to continue to monitor for 
options with little or no open interest and trading activity and to act 
promptly to delist such options. In addition, the Commission expects 
that Amex will continue to monitor the trading volume associated with 
the additional options series listed as a result of this proposal and 
the effect of these additional series on market fragmentation and on 
the capacity of the Exchange's, OPRA's, and vendors' automated systems.
    The Commission finds good cause for approving the proposed rule 
change before the 30th day after the date of publication of notice of 
filing thereof in the Federal Register. The Commission has recently 
approved a substantially similar proposal submitted by the Chicago 
Board Options Exchange, Incorporated, which was published for notice 
and comment.\9\ Accelerating approval of this proposal will allow Amex 
the same flexibility with respect to the listing of $1 strikes, 
creating additional competition in the market for options listed and 
traded under the Program.\10\ Therefore, the Commission finds good 
cause, consistent with section 19(b)(2) of the Act,\11\ to approve the 
proposed rule change on an accelerated basis.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 57049 (December 27, 
2007), 73 FR 528 (January 3, 2008) (SR-CBOE-2007-125).
    \10\ Telephone conversation between Andrea Williams, Assistant 
General Counsel, Amex, and Edward Cho, Special Counsel, Division of 
Trading and Markets, Commission, dated January 4, 2008.
    \11\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).
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V. Conclusion

    It is therefore ordered, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the 
Act,\12\ that the proposed rule change (SR-Amex-2007-141) be, and it 
hereby is, approved on an accelerated basis.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, 
pursuant to delegated authority.\13\
Florence E. Harmon,
Deputy Secretary.
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    \12\ Id.
    \13\ 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).
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 [FR Doc. E8-390 Filed 1-11-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P