Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
Currently, the Floor Broker and Designated Market Maker ("DMM"), after announcing a proposed cross transaction to the trading crowd,
Accordingly, the Exchange proposes to add a new Supplementary Material to Rule 76--Equities.
When the trade can be effected at or between the protected bid and offer, the Exchange-provided quote minder will: (i) Deliver an alert message to the Floor Broker's HHD indicating that the orders may be crossed; (ii) capture a time-stamped quote within Exchange systems that includes the time that the alert was sent to the HHD and the protected bid and offer at that time; (iii) commence a 20-second timer from the moment a cross trade may be executed at or between the protected and bid offer; and (iv) enable a print key function in the HHD permitting the Floor Broker to cross the orders and print the trade through Exchange systems to the Tape within that 20-second time period.
When the Floor Broker receives the alert message mentioned above, the Floor Broker must first announce the proposed cross transaction to the trading crowd; if the crowd or the DMM does not break up the proposed cross trade, the Floor Broker may then execute the trade using the print key function of the HHD before the expiration of the 20-second time period.
The proposed Supplementary Material would require the proposed cross transaction to consist of at least 10,000 shares or a quantity of stock having a market value of $200,000 or more. Further, the proposed cross transaction may not be for the account of the member or member organization, an account of an associated person, or an account with respect to which the member, member organization or associated person exercises investment discretion. The Exchange has represented that this restriction would help ensure that the functionality would not be used for affiliated principal order flow.
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.
The Commission finds that the proposed Supplementary Material to Rule 76--Equities removes impediments to and perfects the mechanism of a free and open market because the proposed cross functionality is reasonably designed to assist Floor Brokers' ability to cross orders on the Exchange, particularly if there is significant quote traffic with flickering prices, while facilitating compliance with the trade-through restrictions of Rule 611. Given the rapid quotation changes in today's electronic markets, the Commission believes that it is reasonable to allow Floor Brokers a 20-second look-back period in which to manually execute the cross transaction without violating the trade-through rule. The Commission also notes that the proposal does not otherwise change the operation of Rule 76--Equities. For example, the Floor Broker is still required to expose the proposed cross transaction to the trading crowd, and the proposed cross transaction may be broken up by members by trading with either side of the proposed transaction during the 20-second time period.
The Commission further notes that the proposal would bring more automation to the Exchange, which could support more efficient executions of the cross transactions. Moreover, because the transaction terms will be captured in an automated system, the proposed cross functionality is reasonably designed to provide a better audit trail for manually crossed orders, which may facilitate review of Floor Broker transactions for purposes of compliance with Rule 611.