After a two-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is set to reopen its trading floor today with a different look and feel as new rules come into force.
The NYSE is one of the few bourses to still has a floor trade as most have moved to fully-electronic trading.
New York City has been beaten hard by the outbreak with 200,000 cases and more than 20,000 deaths. Under the new measures only 25% of the normal number of traders will be allowed to return to work. Dealers are expected to avoid public transport, wear masks and follow strict social distancing rules, with newly installed transparent barriers to keep people apart.
Traders will also be screened and will have their temperatures taken as they enter the building. Anyone who fails pass the check will be denied until they test negative for COVID-19 or self-quarantine in accordance with US government guidelines.
To return to their jobs, floor traders will also have to endorse a liability waiver that restricts them from accusing the NYSE if they get infected at the exchange.
According to reports, dealers will have to declare that returning to the trading floor could result in them “contracting COVID-19, respiratory failure, death, and transmitting COVID-19 to family or household members and others who may also suffer these effects”.
Ban on Visitors
The new arrangements also mean that the NYSE’s high-profile opening bell events and stock market debut celebrations have been put on hold as visitors are banned. Media organizations that usually broadcast from the trading floor won’t be allowed back until further notice.
“For the trading floor community it supports their small businesses, which have been challenged by the temporary floor closure. And for our economy, reopening our trading floors offers a path to reopening that other businesses in densely populated areas may choose to follow.”
The exchange’s trading floor was locked from 23 March and briefly moved to fully-electronic trading as a precautionary measure to help shield workers. The 228-year-old exchange last closed its doors on 29 October 2012 due to Hurricane Sandy. The NYSE also shut for four sessions in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
NYSE, which is controlled by Intercontinental Exchange, is the world’s largest stock exchange in terms of the total market capitalization of listed companies.