84 FR 72 pgs. 15237-15239 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Investors Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend IEX Rule 11.280 (Limit Up-Limit Down Plan and Trading Halts) To Extend the Pilot Period for the Regulation NMS Plan To Address Extraordinary Market Volatility to the Close of Business on October 18, 2019

Type: NOTICEVolume: 84Number: 72Pages: 15237 - 15239
Docket number: [Release No. 34-85576; File No. SR-IEX-2019-04]
FR document: [FR Doc. 2019-07364 Filed 4-12-19; 8:45 am]
Agency: Securities and Exchange Commission
Official PDF Version:  PDF Version
Pages: 15237, 15238, 15239

[top] page 15237

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

[Release No. 34-85576; File No. SR-IEX-2019-04]

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Investors Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend IEX Rule 11.280 (Limit Up-Limit Down Plan and Trading Halts) To Extend the Pilot Period for the Regulation NMS Plan To Address Extraordinary Market Volatility to the Close of Business on October 18, 2019

April 9, 2019.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1)?1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Act")?2 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,3 notice is hereby given that, on April 8, 2019, the Investors Exchange LLC ("IEX" or the "Exchange") filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "Commission") the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

Footnotes:

1 ?15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

2 ?15 U.S.C. 78a.

3 ?17 CFR 240.19b-4.

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

Pursuant to the provisions of Section 19(b)(1) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Act"),4 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,5 IEX is filing with the Commission a proposed rule change to amend IEX Rule 11.280 (Limit Up-Limit Down Plan and Trading Halts) to extend the pilot period for the Regulation NMS Plan to Address Extraordinary Market Volatility, to the close of business on October 18, 2019. IEX has designated this rule change as "non-controversial" under Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act?6 and provided the Commission with the notice required by Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.7 The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Exchange's website at www.iextrading.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

Footnotes:

4 ?15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

5 ?17 CFR 240.19b-4.

6 ?15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

7 ?17 CFR 240.19b-4.

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 self-regulatory organization 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 statement [sic] may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The self-regulatory organization 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 purpose of this proposed rule change is to amend IEX Rule 11.280 (Limit Up-Limit Down Plan and Trading Halts) ("Rule 11.280") to extend the pilot period for the Regulation NMS Plan to Address Extraordinary Market Volatility, to the close of business on October 18, 2019. Rule 11.280 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 11.280 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"),8 including any extensions to the pilot period for the LULD Plan. The Commission published an amendment to the LULD Plan for it to operate on a permanent, rather than pilot, basis.9

Footnotes:

8 ? See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 67091 (May 31, 2012), 77 FR 33498 (June 6, 2012) (the "Limit Up-Limit Down Release"). An amendment to the LULD Plan adding IEX as a Participant was filed with the Commission on August 11, 2016, and became effective upon filing pursuant to Rule 608(b)(3)(iii) of the Act because it involves solely technical or ministerial matters.

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

The Exchange proposes to amend Rule 11.280 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 11.280.

Market-wide circuit breakers under Rule 11.280 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.


[top] Pursuant to Rule 11.280, 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: A 7% market decline (Level 1), a 13% market decline (Level 2) and a 20% market decline (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 page 15238 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 with the Commission to operate Rule 11.280 on a permanent, rather than pilot, basis. Extending the effectiveness of Rule 11.280 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 11.280 on a permanent basis.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of Sections 6(b)?10 and 6(b)(5) of the Act,11 in particular, because it would promote just and equitable principles of trade, remove impediments to, and perfect the mechanism of, a free and open market and a national market system. 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 11.280 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 11.280 should continue on a pilot basis while the Commission considers whether to permanently approve the market-wide circuit breaker.

Footnotes:

10 ?15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

11 ?15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

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

IEX 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 11.280. Further, IEX understands that FINRA and other national securities exchanges will file proposals to extend their rules regarding the market-wide circuit breaker pilot with the Commission 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

Written comments were neither solicited nor 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?12 and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.13

Footnotes:

12 ?15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

13 ?17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6)?14 normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of filing. However, pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii),15 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.16

Footnotes:

14 ? Id.

15 ?17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(g)(iii).

16 ?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).

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

• 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-IEX-2019-04 on the subject line.

Paper Comments

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


[top] All submissions should refer to File Number SR-IEX-2019-04. 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 page 15239 to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-IEX-2019-04, and should be submitted on or before May 6, 2019.

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.17

Footnotes:

17 ?17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

Jill M. Peterson,

Assistant Secretary.

[FR Doc. 2019-07364 Filed 4-12-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P