The NYSE is closing its physical trading floor for the first time in its history independently from the electronic trading which is going on. This closure is intended to remain temporary until things change.
The NYSE trading floor is set to close on Monday, the 23rd of March. This is due to the emergence of positive COVID-19 cases. Sources say that the closure is only temporary. Two people reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.
The American options floor, the equities trading floor and the NYSE Arca Options trading floor in San Francisco are among the facilities to be closed.
NYSE Trading Floor Is Closing for the First Time while Electronic Trading Is Going On
Stock trading has closed several times over the years. The 9/11 World Trade Center Bombings and World War 2 are examples of such. This time, however, things are different. The big board trading room has never been shut down. This is a first. Electronic trading, however, seems to be a viable option at this time.
According to sources, Stacey Cunningham who is the President of the NYSE said:
“We implemented a number several safety precautions over the past couple of weeks, and starting on Monday this week we started pre-emptive testing of employees and screening of anyone who came into the building. If that screening warranted additional testing, we tested people and they were sent home and not given access to the building. A couple of those test cases have come back positive.
This comes as the World continues to reel from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Major events the world over have been cancelled due to the emergence of the Coronavirus. Travel restrictions between Countries have occurred as well.
She further indicated that the infected had not come into the building but that cleaning will take place as well.
Operated by Intercontinental Exchanges (ICE), the NYSE moved into its present premises in 1903. Its current address (18 Broad St. in lower Manhattan ) is an iconic representation of American and global finance.
The closure of the trading floor comes at a time when financial markets are topsy-turvy as per price movements. The Dow Jones Industrial Average reportedly closed below 20,000 points on Wednesday. The S&P 500 faces similar issues. It also reportedly closed below a 30% high in February.
Other Financial Exchanges Close Too
Other financial exchanges haven’t been left out of the closures too. CME Group recently shut down its Chicago trading floor citing coronavirus concerns. This is an indication to many that the rise of electronic services in many sectors has begun. The truth is that we just don’t realize it yet.
The world itself is leaving legacy patterns of behavior that it clung unto into the 21st century. The emergence of new kinds of threats has changed the tactics and strategies that work for the new problems that we face.
The closure might seem retrogressive to some, but it may be the new normal. And it is this way the world over. At least for now until the COVID-19 situation is cleared up.