New York Stock Exchange shifts to electronic trading amid coronavirus scare

Trading floors will temporarily close

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New York Stock Exchange on March 18, 2020
New York Stock Exchange on March 18, 2020
(JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
Last Updated:
March 18, 2020 - 11:05pm

The New York Stock Exchange on Monday will temporarily shift to electronic trading after two people tested positive for the coronavirus.

The two positive tests played a role in the decision to shift to all-electronic trading, President of the NYSE Stacey Cunningham said according to CNBC.

"We have been informed that a member of the trading floor community and a NYSE employee have tested positive for COVID-19," Michael Blaugrund, the NYSE's chief operating officer said according to NBC News. "Both individuals were screened at the NYSE security checkpoint, administered a test by medical personnel at the Exchange and, as a precautionary measure, not permitted to enter the building this week. They will be treated and recuperate away from the Exchange facility."

"The facilities to be closed comprise the NYSE equities trading floor in New York, NYSE American Options trading floor in New York, and NYSE Arca Options trading floor in San Francisco," a press release states.

The decision comes as businesses across the country face both voluntary and compelled restrictions and closures, and as health experts repeatedly urge the populace to hunker down and practice social distancing.

Markets have exhibited wild volatility and suffered significant losses amid the ongoing health scare. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Monday posted a nearly 3,000 point decline, the largest point drop in its history. The index rebounded more than 1,000 points on Tuesday, only to drop more than 1,300 points on Wednesday.

Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart on Wednesday revealed that he has tested positive for the virus, making him the first member of Congress to say he has contracted the illness.