The New York Stock Exchange is temporarily closing trading floors because the employee infected with COVID-19, moving to fully electronic trading
The New York Stock Exchange is temporarily closing trading floors from March 23 and moving to fully electronic trading next week to prevent the spread of coronavirus, exchange operator Intercontinental Exchange Inc said Wednesday.
The ICE comes shortly after the NYSE sent an update to traders informing them that two people — a member of the trading floor community and an NYSE employee — tested positive for COVID-19.
This is the first physical trading activity at Big Board, nicknamed NYSE, which is temporarily closing while electronic trading continues.
The NYSE had implemented coronavirus screening procedures for anyone wishing to enter the building. Both individuals who tested positive were screened on Monday and not allowed to enter the building.
The NYSE said both individuals who tested positive for coronavirus were last in the Exchange building on March 13, and the building was sanitized the following day.
The facilities to be closed include the NYSE equities trading floor and the NYSE American options floor in New York, as well as the NYSE Arca trading floor in San Francisco. All-electronic trading will begin at the market open on the next Monday.
Previously, the US stock market was closed at some point, such as during World War II and after November 9 in 2001. However, this is the first time the physical exchange closed independently while the electronic trading continues.
It is known that NYSE was acquired and operated by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in 2012. As the electronic trading on Wall Street is increasing, NYSE has also adapted to it and more and more transactions are no longer being performed on the exchange.
However, for many years, the company thought that trading activities were still very important, especially at the time of opening and closing, and trading floors should not be closed even when the number of actual trading professionals decreased. Another major US stock exchange, Nasdaq, has no physical exchange.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones index closed below the 20,000 points for the first time since February 2017. The S&P 500 index is now decreased by nearly 30% from a record high in the previous month.
As of Wednesday evening, more than 7,500 Americans had been infected with coronavirus and more than 110 had died.