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Home > > Nasdaq Options 2
Options 2 Options Market Participants
Section 1. Registration of Market Makers

Options Participants registered as Market Makers have certain rights and bear certain responsibilities beyond those of other Options Participants. All Market Makers are designated as specialists on NOM for all purposes under the Exchange Act or Rules thereunder.

(a) To register as a Market Maker, a Participant must file an application in writing on such forms as Nasdaq Regulation may prescribe. Nasdaq Regulation reviews applications and considers an applicant's market making ability and such other factors as Nasdaq Regulation deems appropriate in determining whether to approve an applicant's registration as a Market Maker.

(b) The registration of any Participant as a Market Maker may be suspended or terminated by Nasdaq Regulation upon a determination that such Participant has failed to properly perform as a Market Maker.

(c) These Rules place no limit on the number of qualifying entities that may become Market Makers. However, based on system constraints, capacity restrictions or other factors relevant to protecting the integrity of the NOM Trading System the Board or its designee may limit access to the Trading System, for a period to be determined in the Board's discretion, pending any action required to address the issue of concern to the Board. To the extent that the Board places limitations on access to the Trading System on any Participant(s), such limits shall be objectively determined and submitted to the Commission for approval pursuant to a rule change filing under Section 19(b) of the Act.

(d) An Options Participant that has qualified as an Options Market Maker may register to make markets in individual options.

(e) An Options Market Maker may become registered in an option by entering a registration request via a Nasdaq approved electronic interface with Nasdaq's systems. Registration shall become effective on the day the registration request is entered.

(f) An Options Market Maker's registration in an option shall be terminated if the market maker fails to enter quotations in the option within five (5) business days after the market maker's registration in the option becomes effective.

Adopted Dec. 6, 2019 (SR-NASDAQ-2019-098).

Section 2. Reserved


Adopted Dec. 6, 2019 (SR-NASDAQ-2019-098).

Section 3. Reserved


Adopted Dec. 6, 2019 (SR-NASDAQ-2019-098).

Section 4. Obligations of Market Makers

(a) In registering as a Market Maker, an Options Participant commits himself to various obligations. Transactions of a Market Maker in its market making capacity must constitute a course of dealings reasonably calculated to contribute to the maintenance of a fair and orderly market, and Market Makers should not make bids or offers or enter into transactions that are inconsistent with such course of dealings. Ordinarily, Market Makers are expected to:

(1) During trading hours, a Market Maker must maintain a two-sided market, pursuant to Options 2, Section 5(d)(1) of this Rule, in those options in which the Market Maker is registered to trade, in a manner that enhances the depth, liquidity and competitiveness of the market.

(2) Engage, to a reasonable degree under the existing circumstances, in dealings for their own accounts when there exists, or it is reasonably anticipated that there will exist, a lack of price continuity, a temporary disparity between the supply of (or demand for) a particular option contract, or a temporary distortion of the price relationships between option contracts of the same class.

(3) Compete with other Market Makers in all options in which the Market Maker is registered to trade.

(4) Make markets that will be honored for the number of contracts entered into NOM' System in all options in which the Market Maker is registered to trade.

(5) Update quotations in response to changed market conditions in all options in which the Market Maker is registered to trade.

(6) Maintain active markets in all options in which the Market Maker is registered.

(7) Honor all orders that the Trading System routes to away markets pursuant to Options 5 of these Rules.

(b) Options Market Makers should not effect purchases or sales on NOM except in a reasonable and orderly manner.

(c) If Nasdaq Regulation finds any substantial or continued failure by an Options Market Maker to engage in a course of dealings as specified in paragraph (a) of this Rule, such Options Market Maker will be subject to disciplinary action or suspension or revocation of registration in one or more of the securities in which the Market Maker is registered. Nothing in this Rule will limit any other power of the Board under these Rules, or procedures of NOM with respect to the registration of a Market Maker or in respect of any violation by a Market Maker of the provisions of this Rule.

Adopted Dec. 6, 2019 (SR-NASDAQ-2019-098); amended Jan. 29, 2020 (SR-NASDAQ-2020-006); amended July 20, 2021 (SR-NASDAQ-2021-059).

Section 5. Market Maker Quotations

(a) Size Associated with Quotes. A Market Maker's bid and offer for a series of options contracts shall be accompanied by the number of contracts at that price the Market Maker is willing to buy or sell. The best bid and best offer entered by a Market Maker must have a size of at least one (1) contract.

(b) Two-Sided Quotes. A Market Maker that enters a bid (offer) in a series of an option in which he is registered on NOM must enter an offer (bid).

(c) Firm Quotes.

(1) All quotes and orders entered into the System by Options Participants are firm under this Rule and Rule 602 of Regulation NMS under the Exchange Act ("Rule 602") for the number of contracts specified and according to the requirements of paragraph (a) above.

(2) Market Maker bids and offers are not firm under this Rule and Rule 602:

(i) for the period prior to the Opening Cross; or

(ii) if any of the circumstances provided in paragraph (b)(3) or (c)(4) of Rule 602 exist.

(d) Intra-day Quotes. A Market Maker must enter bids and offers for the options to which it is registered, as follows:

(1) A Market Maker must enter bids and offers for the options to which it is registered, except in an assigned options series listed intra-day on the Exchange. On a daily basis, a Market Maker must make markets consistent with the applicable quoting requirements specified below.

(A) Market Makers, associated with the same Options Participant, are collectively required to provide two-sided quotations in 60% of the cumulative number of seconds, or such higher percentage as NOM may announce in advance, for which that Options Participant's assigned options series are open for trading. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Market Maker shall not be required to make two-sided markets pursuant to this subparagraph in any Quarterly Option Series, any Adjusted Option Series, and any option series with an expiration of nine months or greater for options on equities and ETFs or with an expiration of twelve months or greater for index options.

(i) An adjusted option series is defined as an option series wherein one option contract in the series represents the delivery of other than 100 shares of underlying stock or Exchange-Traded Fund Shares ("Adjusted Options Series").

(B) Specifically, the Exchange will calculate subparagraph (A) above by (i) taking the total number of seconds the Options Participant disseminates quotes in each assigned options series, excluding Quarterly Option Series, any Adjusted Option Series, and any option series with an expiration of nine months or greater for options on equities and ETFs or with an expiration of twelve months or greater for index options for Market Makers; and (ii) dividing that time by the eligible total number of seconds each assigned option series is open for trading that day. Quoting is not required in every assigned options series. Compliance with this requirement is determined by reviewing the aggregate of quoting in assigned options series for the Options Participant.

(C) Nasdaq Regulation may consider exceptions to the requirement to quote 60% (or higher) of the trading day based on demonstrated legal or regulatory requirements or other mitigating circumstances. For purposes of the Exchange's surveillance of an Options Participant's compliance with this Rule, the Exchange may determine compliance on a monthly basis. The Exchange's monthly compliance evaluation of the quoting requirement does not relieve an Options Participant of the obligation to provide two-sided quotes on a daily basis, nor will it prohibit the Exchange from taking disciplinary action against an Options Participant for failing to meet the quoting obligation each trading day.

(D) If a technical failure or limitation of a System of NOM prevents a Market Maker from maintaining, or prevents a Market Maker from communicating to NOM timely and accurate quotes, the duration of such failure or limitation shall not be included in any of the calculations under this subparagraph (A) with respect to the affected quotes.

(2) Intra-Day Bid/Ask Differentials (Quote Spread Parameters). Options on equities (including Exchange-Traded Fund Shares), and on index options must be quoted with a difference not to exceed $5 between the bid and offer regardless of the price of the bid. However, respecting in-the-money series where the market for the underlying security is wider than $5, the bid/ask differential may be as wide as the spread between the national best bid and offer in the underlying security. The Exchange may establish differences other than the above for one or more series or classes of options.

(A) Bid/ask differentials shall not apply to any options series until the time to expiration is less than nine (9) months for equity options, exchange-traded products, and foreign currencies. Bid/ask differentials shall not apply to any options series until the time to expiration is less than twelve (12) months for index options.

(3) A Market Maker may be called upon by Nasdaq Regulation to submit a single bid or offer or maintain continuous bids and offers in one or more of the series in options to which the Market Maker is registered whenever, in the judgment of Nasdaq Regulation, it is necessary to do so in the interest of fair and orderly markets.

Adopted Dec. 6, 2019 (SR-NASDAQ-2019-098); amended Jan. 29, 2020 (SR-NASDAQ-2020-006); amended November 30, 2020 (SR-NASDAQ-2020-083); amended July 20, 2021 (SR-NASDAQ-2021-059); amended August 9, 2021 (SR-NASDAQ-2021-062), operative September 30, 2021.

Section 6. Market Maker Orders

(a) Market Makers may enter all order types defined in Options 3, Section 7 in the options classes to which they are appointed and non-appointed.

(b) Options Classes Other Than Those in Which Registered. A Market Maker shall be considered an OEF under the Rules in all classes of options listed on NOM. The total number of contracts executed by a Market Maker in options in which it is not registered as a Market Maker shall not exceed 25 percent of the total number of all contracts executed by the Market Maker in any calendar quarter.

Adopted Dec. 6, 2019 (SR-NASDAQ-2019-098); amended Jan. 29, 2020 (SR-NASDAQ-2020-006).

Section 7. Securities Accounts and Orders of Market Makers

(a) Identification of Accounts. In a manner prescribed by Nasdaq Regulation, each Market Maker shall file with Nasdaq Regulation and keep current a list identifying all accounts for stock, options and related securities trading in which the Market Maker may, directly or indirectly, engage in trading activities or over which it exercises investment discretion. No Market Maker shall engage in stock, options or related securities trading in an account which has not been reported pursuant to this Rule.

(b) Reports of Orders. Each Market Maker shall, upon request and in the prescribed form, report to Nasdaq Regulation every order entered by the Market Maker for the purchase or sale of (i) a security underlying options traded on NOM, or (ii) a security convertible into or exchangeable for such underlying security, as well as opening and closing positions in all such securities held in each account reported pursuant to paragraph (a) of this Rule. The report pertaining to orders must include the terms of each order, identification of the brokerage firms through which the orders were entered, the times of entry or cancellation, the times report of execution were received and, if all or part of the order was executed, the quantity and execution price.

(c) Joint Accounts. No Market Maker shall, directly or indirectly, hold any interest or participate in any joint account for buying or selling any options contract unless each participant in such joint account is an Options Participant and unless such account is reported to, and not disapproved by, Nasdaq Regulation. Such reports in a form prescribed by Nasdaq Regulation shall be filed with Nasdaq Regulation before any transaction is effected on NOM for such joint account. A participant in a joint account must:

(1) Be either a Market Maker or a Clearing Participant that carries the joint account.

(2) File and keep current a completed application on such form as is prescribed by Nasdaq Regulation.

(3) Be jointly and severally responsible for assuring that the account complies with all the Rules of the Exchange.

(4) Not be a Market Maker registered to the same options classes to which the joint account holder is also registered as a Market Maker.

(d) Reports of accounts and transactions required to be filed with NOM pursuant to this Rule relate only to accounts in which a Market Maker, as an individual, directly or indirectly controls trading activities or has a direct interest in the profits or losses of such account. Such reports would be required for accounts over which a Market Maker exercises investment discretion as well as a Market Maker's proprietary accounts.

Adopted Dec. 6, 2019 (SR-NASDAQ-2019-098).

Section 8. Financial Requirements for Market Makers

(a) Each Market Maker shall maintain (i) net liquidating equity in its Market Maker account of not less than $200,000, and in conformity with such guidelines as the Board may establish from time to time, and (ii) net capital sufficient to comply with the requirements of Exchange Act Rule 15c3-1. Each Market Maker which is a Clearing Participant shall also maintain net capital sufficient to comply with the requirements of the Clearing Corporation. This equity requirement, as well as all other provisions of the section (including capital maintenance requirements), applies to each Market Maker account, without regard to the number of Market Maker accounts per firm. The term "net liquidating equity" means the sum of positive cash balances and long securities positions less negative cash balances and short securities positions.

(b) Each Market Maker that makes an arrangement to finance his transactions as a Market Maker must identify in writing to Nasdaq Regulation the source of the financing and its terms. Nasdaq Regulation must be informed immediately of the intention of any party to terminate or change any such arrangement.

Adopted Dec. 6, 2019 (SR-NASDAQ-2019-098).

Section 9. Good Standing for Market Makers

(a) To remain in good standing as a Market Maker, the Market Maker must:

(1) continue to meet the requirements established in SEC Rule 15c3-1(a)(6)(i), and the general membership requirements set forth in the Rule 1010 Series of the NOM Rules and the requirements for Market Makers as set forth in Nasdaq Rule 4611.

(2) continue to satisfy the Market Maker qualification requirements specified by NOM, as amended from time to time by Nasdaq;

(3) comply with the Rules of the Exchange as well as the Rules of the OCC and the Federal Reserve Board; and

(4) pay on a timely basis such Participation, transaction and other fees as the Exchange and NOM shall prescribe.

(b) The good standing of a Market Maker may be suspended, terminated or otherwise withdrawn, as provided in the Rules, if any of said conditions for approval cease to be maintained or the Market Maker violates any of its agreements with the Exchange or any of the provisions of the Rules.

Adopted Dec. 6, 2019 (SR-NASDAQ-2019-098).

Section 10. Reserved


Adopted Dec. 6, 2019 (SR-NASDAQ-2019-098).

Section 11. Reserved


Adopted Jan. 29, 2020 (SR-NASDAQ-2020-006).

Section 12. Reserved


Adopted Jan. 29, 2020 (SR-NASDAQ-2020-006).

Section 13. Reserved


Adopted Jan. 29, 2020 (SR-NASDAQ-2020-006).

Section 14. Reserved


Adopted Jan. 29, 2020 (SR-NASDAQ-2020-006).

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