Are the dates when a company closes and opens its trading window to its employees (= trading windows) confidential information in the United States? (confidential = only the company's employees are supposed to be aware of it).
I worked at a big tech company and was limited to the trading windows. Once a quarter, I would receive an email telling me what the trading window was. I'm pretty sure that were no confidentiality restrictions on this info.
I suspect that no company would make this info confidential for a few reasons:
- Often, there is a large number of people subject to the window. It is hard to keep something confidential that needs to be known by a lot of people.
- Those people need to tell their families and stock brokers.
- The windows generally happen after the 10Q report is filed and that is public.
The answer is "maybe."
The trading windows are typically based on earnings announcements. If the trading window dates use non-public earnings announcement dates, they would be confidential. If the trading window dates use only public earnings announcement dates, I believe they could be shared.
Maybe is the answer because it depends on when the information is known.
Public Q1 Earnings Date: 4/20.
Public Q2 Earnings Date: 7/20.
Trading window: Open 4/21 - 6/30 This could be public but isn't required to be.
Unpublished Q1 Earnings Date: 4/20.
Unpublished Q2 Earnings Date: 7/20.
Trading window: Open 4/21 - 6/30 Revealing this window before the earnings date could reveal the earnings dates of 4/20 before that date would be made public.
From an "illegal insider trading" standpoint, whether the dates are confidential or not is irrelevant since it's not material. You don't know if the window is closed for some major announcement (good or bad) or if it's a standard practice around quarterly filings. Remember that illegal trading requires material, nonpublic information. Simply knowing that a public announcement is upcoming is not material, so trading based off of that knowledge would not be illegal.