Starting Monday, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) will temporarily halt its traditional floor trading and move to an electronic-trading-only model. Like many other adjustments and shutdowns by American businesses in recent days, this one comes in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to a report from CNBC confirmed by NYSE's owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE 0.79%), two people screened while entering the exchange's iconic Wall Street building in New York -- where a great many top stocks are traded -- have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
Intercontinental Exchange did not identify the two people, nor did it provide details about their present condition.
The company's temporary shift to online-only trading will apply not only to that market, but also the NYSE American Options trading floor, and the NYSE Arca Options exchange in San Francisco.
"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 reopen our trading floors to our members," Intercontinental Exchange said in a press release.
The company added that all its NYSE markets would maintain their regular trading hours, though that plan might run counter to what the Trump administration would prefer. Earlier this week in a White House press briefing, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speculated that the federal government might mandate shortened market hours. This suggestion drew a strongly worded rebuke from Intercontinental Exchange rival and peer CME Group, which asserted that cutting trading hours would only make volatility worse.
Intercontinental Exchange's shares rose broadly in line with the key U.S. stock indexes on Thursday, closing up by just over 5%.