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 Securities Lawyer's Deskbook
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Securities Exchange Act of 1934





Section 9 -- Manipulation of Security Prices


  1. Transactions relating to purchase or sale of security

    It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, by the use of the mails or any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce, or of any facility of any national securities exchange, or for any member of a national securities exchange--

    1. For the purpose of creating a false or misleading appearance of active trading in any security registered on a national securities exchange, or a false or misleading appearance with respect to the market for any such security, (A) to effect any transaction in such security which involves no change in the beneficial ownership thereof, or (B) to enter an order or orders for the purchase of such security with the knowledge that an order or orders of substantially the same size, at substantially the same time, and at substantially the same price, for the sale of any such security, has been or will be entered by or for the same or different parties, or (C) to enter any order or orders for the sale of any such security with the knowledge that an order or orders of substantially the same size, at substantially the same time, and at substantially the same price, for the purchase of such security, has been or will be entered by or for the same or different parties.

    2. To effect, alone or with one or more other persons, a series of transactions in any security registered on a national securities exchange or in connection with any security-based swap agreement (as defined in section 206B of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) with respect to such security creating actual or apparent active trading in such security, or raising or depressing the price of such security, for the purpose of inducing the purchase or sale of such security by others.

    3. If a dealer or broker, or other person selling or offering for sale or purchasing or offering to purchase the security or a security-based swap agreement (as defined in section 206B of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) with respect to such security, to induce the purchase or sale of any security registered on a national securities exchange or any security based swap agreement (as defined in section 206B of the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act) with respect to such security by the circulation or dissemination in the ordinary course of business of information to the effect that the price of any such security will or is likely to rise or fall because of market operations of any one or more persons conducted for the purpose of raising or depressing the price of such security.

    4. If a dealer or broker, or the person selling or offering for sale or purchasing or offering to purchase the security or a security-based swap agreement (as defined in section 206B of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) with respect to such security, to make, regarding any security registered on a national securities exchange or any security-based swap agreement (as defined in section 206B of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) with respect to such security, for the purpose of inducing the purchase or sale of such security or such security-based swap agreement, any statement which was at the time and in the light of the circumstances under which it was made, false or misleading with respect to any material fact, and which he knew or had reasonable ground to believe was so false or misleading.

    5. For a consideration, received directly or indirectly from a dealer or broker, or other person selling or offering for sale or purchasing or offering to purchase the security or a security-based swap agreement (as defined in section 206B of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) with respect to such security, to induce the purchase of any security registered on a national securities exchange or any security-based swap agreement (as defined in section 206B of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) with respect to such security by the circulation or dissemination of information to the effect that the price of any such security will or is likely to rise or fall because of the market operations of any one or more persons conducted for the purpose of raising or depressing the price of such security.

    6. To effect either alone or with one or more other persons any series of transactions for the purchase and/or sale of any security registered on a national securities exchange for the purpose of pegging, fixing, or stabilizing the price of such security in contravention of such rules and regulations as the Commission may prescribe as necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of investors.

  2. Transactions relating to puts, calls, straddles, or options

    It shall be unlawful for any person to effect, by use of any facility of a national securities exchange, in contravention of such rules and regulations as the Commission may prescribe as necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of investors--

    1. any transaction in connection with any security whereby any party to such transaction acquires (A) any put, call, straddle, or other option or privilege of buying the security from or selling the security to another without being bound to do so; or (B) any security futures product on the security; or

    2. any transaction in connection with any security with relation to which he has, directly or indirectly, any interest in any (A) such put, call, straddle, option, or privilege; or (B) such security futures product; or

    3. any transaction in any security for the account of any person who he has reason to believe has, and who actually has, directly or indirectly, any interest in any (A) such put, call, straddle, option, or privilege; or (B) such security futures product with relation to such security.

  3. Endorsement or guarantee of puts, calls, straddles, or options

    It shall be unlawful for any member of a national securities exchange directly or indirectly to endorse or guarantee the performance of any put, call, straddle, option, or privilege in relation to any security registered on a national securities exchange, in contravention of such rules and regulations as the Commission may prescribe as necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of investors.

  4. Registered warrant, right, or convertible security not included in "put", "call", "straddle", or "option"

    The terms "put", "call", "straddle", "option", or "privilege" as used in this section shall not include any registered warrant, right, or convertible security.

  5. Persons liable; suits at law or in equity

    Any person who willfully participates in any act or transaction in violation of subsections (a), (b), or (c) of this section, shall be liable to any person who shall purchase or sell any security at a price which was affected by such act or transaction, and the person so injured may sue in law or in equity in any court of competent jurisdiction to recover the damages sustained as a result of any such act or transaction. In any such suit the court may, in its discretion, require an undertaking for the payment of the costs of such suit, and assess reasonable costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, against either party litigant. Every person who becomes liable to make any payment under this subsection may recover contribution as in cases of contract from any person who, if joined in the original suit, would have been liable to make the same payment. No action shall be maintained to enforce any liability created under this section, unless brought within one year after the discovery of the facts constituting the violation and within three years after such violation.

  6. Subsection (a) not applicable to exempted securities

    The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to an exempted security.

  7. Foreign currencies

    1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Commission shall have the authority to regulate the trading of any put, call, straddle, option, or privilege on any security, certificate of deposit, or group or index of securities (including any interest therein or based on the value thereof), or any put, call, straddle, option, or privilege entered into on a national securities exchange relating to foreign currency (but not, with respect to any of the foregoing, an option on a contract for future delivery other than a security futures product).

    2. Notwithstanding the Commodity Exchange Act, the Commission shall have the authority to regulate the trading of any security futures product to the extent provided in the securities laws.

  8. Limitations on practices that affect market volatility

    It shall be unlawful for any person, by the use of the mails or any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce or of any facility of any national securities exchange, to use or employ any act or practice in connection with the purchase or sale of any equity security in contravention of such rules or regulations as the Commission may adopt, consistent with the public interest, the protection of investors, and the maintenance of fair and orderly markets--

    1. to prescribe means reasonably designed to prevent manipulation of price levels of the equity securities market or a substantial segment thereof; and

    2. to prohibit or constrain, during periods of extraordinary market volatility, any trading practice in connection with the purchase or sale of equity securities that the Commission determines (A) has previously contributed significantly to extraordinary levels of volatility that have threatened the maintenance of fair and orderly markets; and (B) is reasonably certain to engender such levels of volatility if not prohibited or constrained.

    In adopting rules under paragraph (2), the Commission shall, consistent with the purposes of this subsection, minimize the impact on the normal operations of the market and a natural person's freedom to buy or sell any equity security.

  9. Limitation

    The authority of the Commission under this section with respect to security- based swap agreements (as defined in section 206B of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) shall be subject to the restrictions and limitations of section 3A(b).


Legislative History


June 6, 1934, c. 404, Title I, § 9, 48 Stat. 889; Oct. 13, 1982, Pub.L. 97 303, § 3, 96 Stat. 1409; Oct. 16, 1990, Pub.L. 101-432, § 6(a), 104 Stat. 975; Dec. 21, 2000, Pub.L. 106-554, § 1(a)(5), 114 Stat. 2763.

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