The Big Board is switching back on.
The head of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday said the iconic trading floor will partially reopen on May 26 while adhering to strict new health guidelines.
In an op-ed piece published in the Wall Street Journal, NYSE President Stacey Cunningham vowed to get the world renowned Wall Street operation back up and running in stages to prevent employees from contracting the deadly coronavirus. The trading floor closed down on March 23 after a handful of staffers tested positive for COVID-19 — marking its longest closure ever.
Only some floor brokers and limited support staff will be permitted in the building to start, Cunningham said. Everyone will wear masks and follow strict social distancing rules, and the floor will be thoroughly sanitized every evening.
NYSE employees will be told to avoid public transportation and will be subject to temperature tests before entering the building. If they prove symptomatic, they will have to test negative for COVID-19 before coming back to the floor.
“We will respect the sacrifices of frontline workers and the city at large by proceeding cautiously,” Cunningham wrote. “Limiting the strain on the health-care system and the risk to those who work beneath our roof.”
Cunningham’s op-ed suggests NYSE is modeling its comeback in part on the May 4 reopening of the San Francisco options floor, including by having the exchange’s designated market makers continue to work remotely.
While Cunningham is framing the reopening as a major moment in the reopening of American commerce, some will wonder if the floor really ever closed at all.
As The Post reported in April, NYSE brought some people onto the floor post-closure to execute an initial public offering for a mutual fund.
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