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New York Stock Exchange Goes completely Digital, Trading from Home Starts This Monday

Saad Ullah

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To combat the spread of Corona Virus, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) will be opening its trade from today, Monday, but the floor will be closed.

Digital Trading

The United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission has made changes its rule last Saturday, which allows the possibility of trading on the NYSE through a completely electronic existence. In its more than 200 year history, this will be the first time the exchange will be opening without its trading floor active. This Monday, the trading floor of the exchange will be closed for traders, but they will be able to access their stocks and trade remotely. Barring a few exceptions, NYSE will allow nearly all stocks to be traded this way. All other rules, such as circuit breakers at S&P decline of 7%, 13% and 20% will also be enforced.

The move does not require much effort in itself. Majority of its operations, such as the trading itself, has been electronic for some time now. Many other exchanges around the world are already totally digital. London Stock Exchange, for example, a 3 century old institute, has not used its trading floor for nearly 35 years.

Essential Financial Workers

The pandemic corona virus has now infected people in every state of the country, with scares rising. To combat this, the decision has been made to temporarily close the trading floor of NYSE and let traders go about their business remotely. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had announced that he wanted all employees to stay indoors, apart from essential ones. Although the executive order exempts

“Financial institutions including banks, insurance, payroll, accounting services related to financial markets”

However, the NYSE has decided to move trading to a complete digital format, though temporary. The exchange has been cleansed to combat the corona virus, making it one of the most hygienic places in the state. However, the floor has been closed since the traders will still be at high risk of exposure in their travels to and from the exchange and their homes.

Before this, the NYSE had refused to abandon physical floors for trading. An elite exchange, it banks on the brokers and traders to act as its face. The building alone had around 30 different media outlets, who can quickly get their hands on the latest developments. Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) from the exchange are broadcasted live all around the world. The exchange even carries a traditional bell ringing ceremony, announcing the opening and closing of trading.

Corona Virus has had major impact on stocks and markets all around the world. With now 35 countries at different stages of lock down, it has made its footfall in all of the states in USA. The decision to shut down the trading floor and go purely digital (although a temporary one), will enable United States to keep its financial markets up and running, at the same time protecting the brokers and financial workers from falling victim to the novel virus.

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