The New York Stock Exchange will temporarily close its iconic trading floor in lower Manhattan and move to all-electronic trading beginning Monday as a precautionary step after two people tested positive for COVID-19.
The trading floors of the NYSE and the NYSE American Options market in New York will be closed, as well as that of the NYSE Arca Options in San Francisco.
The moves comes after a member of the NYSE’s trading floor community and an employee of the exchange tested positive for the virus on Monday, according to International Exchange, the parent company of the NYSE.
Both individuals last entered the NYSE building on Friday. On Saturday, the trading floor and common spaces in the facility were sanitized, the company said.
“NYSE’s trading floors provide unique value to issuers and investors, but our markets are fully capable of operating in an all-electronic fashion to serve all participants, and we will proceed in that manner until we can re-open our trading floors to our members,” said Stacey Cunningham, the NYSE’s president.
The exchanges will continue to operate under normal trading hours, she added.
Several thousand brokers and others used to crowd the trading floor of the NYSE as recently as the 1990s. But in the years since, the rise of electronic trading grew to dominate the action on Wall Street. These days, there are about 500 floor traders at the NYSE, said Josh King, a spokesman for Intercontinental Exchange.