NYSE Trading Floor Set to Re-Open May 26

The Big Board is getting ready for the big re-open.

In an announcement by President Stacey Cunningham, the iconic trading floor will re-open to select people beginning on May 26th.

During an appearance on CNBC Friday morning, Cunningham explained that smaller independent floor brokers will be the first to return in order to “get back to work” and be able to earn a living again” as they have been deemed as having the greatest need. These floor traders will be barred from taking public transportation, will have to wear face masks and will follow “strict social-distancing requirements, she added.

Anyone entering the NYSE’s historic building on Wall Street in Manhattan will be screened and have to take temperature checks.

Cunningham said adjustments will be made on the trading floor to give each trader their own workspace. She left open the possibility of the NYSE taking further precautions if there is a resurgence in coronavirus cases.

The exchange closed its physical trading floor on March 23 – days after a floor trader and a NYSE employee tested positive for the coronavirus. The exchange opted to go all electronic since then.

“We will enforce social distancing strictly,” Cunningham said. “And there will be a learning curve for all us as we re-open.”

Also, those going back to the trading floor will have to sign a waiver or statement of risk acknowledging that being on the floor could be harmful to their health.

Once the smaller independent brokers are established, Cunningham said the exchange would then begin to examine the admittance of larger market makers, who to date, have been “staying at home.”

Here is the official release:

The NYSE Equities Trading Floor will partially reopen to Floor Brokers. Floor Broker order types, including “D Orders,” will be supported, but Designated Market Makers will continue to operate remotely (with limited exceptions).

The trading floor will operate with reduced headcount and additional safety precautions to accommodate health-focused considerations. Because member firms will operate with adjusted staffing levels, customers are encouraged to discuss specific capabilities with their Floor Brokers in advance of the partial reopening.

Upon returning, NYSE trading floor personnel will be required to follow enhanced safety protocols, which include, but are not limited to, compliance with the public health orders of the City and State of New York. Members seeking admittance to the floor should review NYSE IM-20-03 and contact rmteam@nyse.com for additional details.