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NYSE Move to All-Electronic Trading After Two Test Positive for Coronavirus

The stock exchange will temporarily close its trading floor operations in a move to contain the coronavirus outbreak
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The New York Stock Exchange will shift to all-electronic trading starting Monday in response to the coronavirus, exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.  (ICE)  said Wednesday.

The move comes after two people screened before coming into the building tested positive for the coronavirus, CNBC reported. The people had not entered the building, Stacey Cunningham, president of the New York Stock Exchange, told the business channel.   

The shift will affect the NYSE equities trading floor in New York, the NYSE American Options trading floor in New York, and the NYSE Arca Options trading floor in San Francisco.

“The decision to temporarily close the trading floors represents a precautionary step to protect the health and well-being of employees and the floor community in response to COVID-19,” the company said in a statement, which made no mention of the positive tests. 

“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 re-open our trading floors to our members,” Cunningham said in the statement. “While we are taking the precautionary step of closing the trading floors, we continue to firmly believe the markets should remain open and accessible to investors. All NYSE markets will continue to operate under normal trading hours despite the closure of the trading floors.”

Under the move, “the Exchange’s Designated Market Makers will connect to the exchange electronically to provide liquidity in their stocks, however floor broker order types will be unavailable. On the NYSE’s options markets, electronic trading will continue normally but open-outcry trading will be suspended with the closure of the options trading floors,” according to the statement.

Shares of Intercontinental fell $6.71, or 8.7%, to $70.08 in regular trading on Wednesday.  The move came amid a broad market slump driven by growing fears over the depth of the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus.