Coronavirus forces NYSE to close trading floor, go electronic

The last time NYSE shut down was 2012 after Hurricane Sandy

The New York Stock Exchange will shut down its trading floor as of Monday after two people associated with the facility tested positive for coronavirus.

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The exchange will shift to all electronic trading for the time being. The NYSE said trading activity and regulatory oversight would proceed without interruption.

FOX Business was first to report the decision was likely.

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“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,” said Stacey Cunningham, President of the New York Stock Exchange. “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.”

A floor trader and a NYSE staff member tested positive for coronavirus, FOX Business Senior Correspondent Charlie Gasparino reported. Countless U.S. businesses and institutions have shut down in recent days as officials seek to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The NYSE said it has "robust, regularly tested contingency plans" for sudden shifts to electronic trading.

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The Chicago Mercantile Exchange shut its trading floor last Friday.

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Global markets have experienced extreme volatility as investors grapple with uncertainty related to the coronavirus outbreak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down more than 1,300 points, or more than six percent, on Wednesday, erasing gains since President Trump took office in 2016.

The New York Stock Exchange last shut down for two days in 2012 amid the impact of Hurricane Sandy. It has closed on several other occasions, including for four months in 1914 at the outbreak of World War I, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, and then again three days later for the funeral. The exchange closed for four days immediately after the 9/11 attack in 2001.

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This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.