(CNN Business)The New York Stock Exchange will reopen the trading floor to a subset of floor brokers the day after Memorial Day, May 26, according to the exchange’s president Stacey Cunningham.
Cunningham made the announcement in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. She said the trading floor will look different from the “iconic images” many have grown accustomed to seeing, adding that floor brokers will return in smaller numbers, wear protective masks as they work, and follow “strict social-distancing requirements, enforced by a new choreography,” that defines spaces where each person may work on the floor.
Cunningham said that “designated market makers” will largely continue to do their jobs away from the floor.
“Bringing our physical trading floor back online will begin the process of returning the NYSE to the highest level of service for investors and listed companies,” she said. “This is important because stocks trade better when the floor is open, with reduced volatility and fairer prices.”
The NYSE has been limited to all-electronic trading since March 23. The move came after the NYSE sent an update to traders informing them that two people — a member of the trading floor community and an NYSE employee — tested positive for Covid-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. The NYSE had implemented coronavirus screening procedures for anyone wishing to enter the building. Both individuals who tested positive were screened and not allowed to enter the building.
On Thursday, Cunningham said the exchange will require everyone who comes to the facility to avoid public transportation. She said floor brokers and visitors will be screened and have their temperatures taken as they enter the building. Those who do not pass the check will not be allowed to enter until they test negative for Covid-19, or self quarantine, Cunningham said.
The NYSE will not resume its regular schedule of events and most of the rest of the building will remain “largely empty” as many employees will continue to work remotely.
A daily regimen of “thorough cleaning and sanitation” of the trading floor will be implemented, Cunningham said.
– Clare Duffy contributed to this report
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