Announcing that the NYSE trading floor reopening will bring a “new normal,” the President of the NYSE, Stacey Cunningham, said the exchange would allow a “subset” of brokers back on the floor wearing face masks.
Penning an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, Cunningham wrote that the Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (NYSE: ICE) owned New York Stock Exchange would open its trading floor after the Memorial Day holiday on May 26.
Out of respect for the sacrifices of health-care workers, the exchange will reopen with caution to “limit the strain on the health-care system,” the NYSE President revealed. Cunningham called COVID-19 a “stubborn reality” and said, “We can’t keep the country closed indefinitely.”
Why It Matters
The NYSE trading floor was closed on March 23, shifting to electronic trading only, as COVID-19 gripped New York City.
The reopened trading floor will look markedly different from pre-pandemic times. The exchange’s “designated market makers” will continue, for the most part, to operate away from the floor.
Floor brokers will return in smaller numbers, wear masks and follow social distancing requirements following a new “choreography” that defines a designated working space.
The NYSE is asking people coming to work to avoid public transportation, and brokers and visitors alike will be required to go through temperature screening. Those who fail the temperature check will be denied entry until they test negative for COVID-19 or complete quarantine.
While accepting that during floor closure listed companies continued to “operate effectively,” Cunningham stressed the importance of floor reopening, writing, “Stocks trade better when the floor is open, with reduced volatility and fairer prices.”
Intercontinental Exchange shares traded 0.97% higher at $94.15 in the after-hours session on Thursday. The shares had closed the regular session nearly unchanged at $93.25.
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