The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) will move to fully electronic trading on a temporary basis as of March 23, the Exchange announced earlier.
The decision comes as a precautionary measure to protect the health and well-being of employees and the floor community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Saturday published rule changes that allow the NYSE to conduct all-electronic trading.
Equities and options trading floors will temporarily close, and fully electronic trading begins with the market open on Monday, March 23, according to the announcement.
Trading and regulatory oversight of all NYSE-listed securities will continue without interruption.
“NYSE’s trading floors provide unique value to issuers and investors, but 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,” says Stacey Cunningham, President of the New York Stock Exchange.
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She adds that while taking the precautionary step of closing the trading floors, NYSE believes the markets should remain open and accessible to investors.
Prepared for exceptional circumstances
The NYSE has robust, regularly tested contingency plans in place to initiate fully electronic trading on its exchanges that have physical trading floors, according to the announcement.
“On the NYSE’s equities market, 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. Intercontinental Exchange will continue to monitor events to determine the appropriate time to re-open the NYSE trading floors”, the announcement states.
The SEC said on March 21 that the new rule filings were only temporary and would expire on May 15 or sooner if the trading floor reopens.
In a tweet on the same day, the SEC noted that the nation’s capital markets had functioned well as market participants have implemented their business continuity plans.