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Even as states across the country look to reboot their economies, the New York Stock Exchange has no set date to reopen the trading floor, according to traders on a Tuesday call with NYSE officials.
The 4:30 p.m. call, hosted by executives including NYSE President Stacey Cunningham, was a scheduled call at an irregular time for the Big Board because it comes amid a six-week shutdown of the NYSE trading floor and when the nation’s largest stock exchange is operating electronically with most of its employees working from home.
“We always make sure that every decision we make goes through the trading floor community first,” Cunningham told those on the call. As first reported by FOX Business, the NYSE closed the trading floor on March 23 after officials confirmed traders tested positive for coronavirus.
Executives emphasized they want to have a direct line of communication with traders instead of floor members getting information from the media.
“There’s been a lot of misinformation reported in the media,” Cunningham added. "When you hear Charlie Gasparino saying what we’re going to do and when we’re going to do it none of that information comes directly from anyone in the building.”
Cunningham was referring to this reporter who has extensively covered the NYSE’s response to the pandemic. Cunningham then confirmed a report by FOX Business that NYSE management still hasn’t determined when the floor will be open.
According to a trader on the call, “Stacey said NYSE doesn’t have a target date yet.”
A NYSE spokesman declined to comment on the call.
Though many traders are eager to return to their posts on the iconic floor, the NYSE faces a tough decision on when to reopen its floor operations.
COVID-19 continues to spread through the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control has recommended social distancing — staying at least 6 feet away from others — and limiting the sizes of gatherings. Maintaining distance on the trading floor is difficult as traders are packed in tightly together.
Moreover, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has taken some of the most aggressive business lockdown efforts amid the coronavirus spread. But he has not set a date when businesses in New York City can start opening even as businesses upstate begin starting operations on May 15.
The decision to reopen the floor will likely be in line with Cuomo's guidance, people with knowledge of the matter tell FOX Business.
Some traders speculate the floor will reopen in stages—bringing a few traders back at a time. Before the NYSE closed, it began monitoring employees’ temperature and testing. It’s possible officials will continue this practice as operations begin to resume.