Emergency restrictions on short sales by 17 Wall Street firms and the housing-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which had been due to expire just before midnight Tuesday, were extended through Aug. 12, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced.

The SEC said the 10-day extension will give its staff time to collect and analyze data on the restrictions' effect. It said it would move "immediately" afterward to consider rules imposing restrictions on short-selling in the broader market.

The SEC issued the emergency order on July 15, citing concerns that rumor-mongering could spark "sudden and excessive fluctuations" in stock prices and disrupt the fair and orderly functioning of U.S. markets.

The agency said that, once the order expires on Aug. 12, it "will not be further extended."

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