Does the uptick rule on U.S. securities apply universally across all stocks, all bonds, all futures and all options? Or is it limited to certain category of securities/instruments?

Is there a comprehensive list of stocks that are exempt from the rule?

I ask this because I read that index ETFs like SPY are not subject to this rule.

  • Sorry, forgot to note what equities it's applied.
    – user11865
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 18:40

1 Answer 1


The uptick rule is gone, but it was weakly reintroduced in 2010, applied to all publicly traded equities:

Under the terms of the rule, a circuit breaker would be triggered if a stock falls by 10% or more in a single day. At that point, short selling would only be allowed if the price is above the current national best bid, a restriction that would apply for the rest of the day and the whole of the following day.

Derivatives are not yet restricted in such ways because of their spontaneous nature, requiring a short to increase supply; however, this latest rule widens options spreads during collapses because the exemption for hedging is now gone, and what's more a tool used by options market makers, shorting the underlying to offset positive delta, now has to go to the back of the selling line during a panic.

Bonds are not restricted because for one there isn't much interest in shorting because bonds usually don't have enough variance to exceed the cost of borrowing, and many do not trade frequently enough because even the cost to trade bonds is expensive, so arranging a short in its entirety will be expensive. The preferred method to short a bond is with swaps, swaptions, etc.

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