The New York Stock Exchange is temporarily closing its trading floor on Monday and shifting to all-electronic trading after two people who work in the building tested positive for the coronavirus, according to news reports.
Both individuals had been denied entry to the NYSE building in lower Manhattan after failing a mandatory screening procedure earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal writes, citing an internal memo sent to NYSE floor traders on Thursday.
One of the individuals was a “member of the floor trading community,” which typically refers to brokers and traders who work on the floor of the exchange, the newspaper writes, citing the memo. The other person was an NYSE employee, according to the memo cited by the Journal.
Both individuals later tested positive for the virus, the newspaper writes. Their last time in the building was March 13, according to the memo cited by the newspaper. NYSE conducted a deep cleaning of the floor and continued operating this week, the Journal writes.
The NYSE’s parent company, Intercontinental Exchange, says it “will continue to monitor events to determine the appropriate time to re-open the NYSE trading floors,” the company says in a statement cited by the newspaper.
While other exchanges around the world as well as in the U.S. have closed their trading floors amid concerns of contagion, the NYSE has been resistant to do the same, which the Journal attributes to its trading floor being essential to its brand.
But there’s likely to be little impact from the shut down on markets as NYSE will shift to all-electronic trading, as the exchange has a backup plan that allows it to continue operating without human traders on the floor, the newspaper writes.
Since the coronavirus outbreak reached the U.S., several financial services firms and organizations have been shifting to telecommuting arrangements for their staffs with some, such as Edward Jones, giving certain employees the option to work remotely and others, such as JPMorgan, putting staff on a rotating schedule in which some employees are required to work from home.
The SEC has been shifting its entire staff to work remotely, with most of its employees having been working remotely since March 10.
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