They’re back and open.
The New York Stock Exchange re-opened its closed trading floor, marking the end of the longest period the historic NYSE was ever closed in its history. The physical trading floor was closed for approximately two months.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo rang the opening bell to applause from the floor brokers present.
The broad market, as measured by the DJIA, opened higher immediately on positive sentiment regarding a cure for COVID-19.
NYSE President Stacey Cunningham said that “For the NYSE and the nation as a whole, it’s important to approach reopening with realistic expectations. This feels great and this is a great start.”
She explained during a live interview on CNBC that there is no set timetable for a broader floor re-opening and that the procedures followed today were not indicative of what many are calling “the new normal.”
“As you know, we have only about 80 people on the floor,” Cunningham began. “Just like we didn’t have a timetable for closing down, it’s the same right now – there’s no set timetable to re-open. Right now we’re skewed towards small and mid-sized firms being here. But we’ll see how this strategy plays out over the next few weeks.”
Cunningham emphasized that neither any NYSE nor floor broker is required or ordered to return to the trading floor. Rather, firms and people, including those employed by the exchange, can return when they feel comfortable.
“Some of the brokers and larger firms have chosen not to come back,” Cunningham said. “They have the ability to return but no one is forcing anyone back. This re-opening is not a return to normal. We have to continue to be smart and be careful as to how to re-open going forward.”
Cunningham concluded by confirming the human presence on the trading floor – ie the floor brokers – did assist in better prices for traders and added value to the closing auction process.
“There was some impact on prices at the closing auction. But we want and will get back to the best prices which the human element contributes to.”