The New York Stock Exchange said on Wednesday it would temporarily close its trading floor and move online, an unprecedented step in the global effort to halt the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus. The trading floor will move online from Monday and comes after CME Group announced last week that they’d close the Chicago trading floor. The closure in New York was in part due to a positive coronavirus test for someone who works at the NYSE, CNBC reported. While more than 90 percent of U.S. stock trading is done electronically, the New York trading floor hasn’t closed since Hurricane Sandy flooded Lower Manhattan in 2012, forcing a two-day shutdown of the entire market. The NYSE, and its parent Intercontinental Exchange Inc., had already taken steps to separate to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, according to an internal memo obtained by Reuters. Floor traders had been partially separated by using separate entrances and different eating spaces in the iconic 11 Wall Street building. Non-working visitors had been kept to a minimum and the building had intensified overnight cleaning efforts, the memo reportedly said.
Concerns about the rapidly spreading flu-like virus have wreaked havoc on the global economy, resulting in stock-market routs not seen since the 2008 global financial crisis. Trading in U.S. was halted again Wednesday as stocks took another dive, with the Dow Jones plunging to levels not seen since before President Trump took office in 2016.