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NYSE Closing More Floors

The exchange cuts some fees as electronic trading expands.

NYSE Euronext


is closing down more trading floor space in yet another sign that electronic trading has taken over the exchange industry.

By November, the Big Board plans to close two trading rooms, according to Duncan Niederauer, its president and co-chief operating officer, who spoke during the Lehman Bros. financial services conference on Wednesday.

No jobs will be eliminated as a result of the two room closings. The traders and specialists will move into NYSE's two remaining open rooms.

The two rooms that it is closing include the "blue room," which has a combination of specialists and brokers based there, as well as the "extended blue room," which is largely where the trading of ETFs was held, a spokesman said.

Exchange-traded funds are moving onto NYSE's Arca platform -- its second smaller exchange -- and will no longer be traded through the specialists, he said.

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"It should make the floor considerably more efficient," Niederauer said during the conference.

Specialist firms -- which earn commissions for matching buyers and sellers on an exchange -- also make money from trades made to smooth out fluctuations in stock prices. The specialists and floor traders have been feeling the heat as the Big Board embraces electronic trading through its so-called hybrid market.

NYSE has been slashing its workforce and closing some of its five trading floors in order to cut costs and improve efficiencies. Last November, NYSE closed its 30 Broad Street trading floor in Lower Manhattan.

The Big Board also cut fees on some stock trades in a bid to beat back the onslaught of electronic-trading competitors. The move comes a day after rival



said its market share in NYSE-traded securities reached a record high.