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New York Stock Exchange Considers Reopening Its Trading Floor

By Eric Volkman – Apr 27, 2020 at 5:47PM

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In-person trading was shut down on March 23 after two people who worked at the Exchange tested positive for the coronavirus.

If Intercontinental Exchange (ICE -0.87%) gets its way, the New York Stock Exchange's iconic trading floor will once again be its usual hive of activity sometime soon.

An official from the NYSE, which is owned by Intercontinental Exchange, told Reuters in an article published Friday that it "will reopen its trading floors when we can do so with reduced risk and without adding strain on local healthcare systems." A more exact timeline was not provided.

Neither Intercontinental Exchange nor the NYSE has yet issued an official, proprietary statement on the matter.

Facade of the NYSE.

Image source: New York Stock Exchange.

Citing "two people who were on the call," the Reuters article said that NYSE officials held a conference call with their staff and a number of traders regarding a return to in-person activity at the Exchange, presumably once the coronavirus pandemic recedes. The Exchange is located in the heart of New York City, one of the places worst-hit by COVID-19.

According to the article's sources, the current plan is for the reopening to occur in two phases. Every person entering the building on Wall Street will be monitored for symptoms, and social distancing requirements will remain in force.

Technically, as a business considered to be an essential service, the NYSE is permitted to operate. It elected to halt its in-person trading activity for now, however, and move solely to the electronic variety. Last month, one NYSE employee and a floor trader both tested positive for the coronavirus

The market clearly liked the symbolism around the idea of the exchange reopening. On Monday, Intercontinental Exchange shares closed the day nearly 4% higher, topping the gains of the major equity indexes and many peer financial stocks.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Intercontinental Exchange. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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