NYSE to Reopen Its Trading Floor on Tuesday

The New York Stock Exchange will partially reopen its trading floor to some, but not all, brokers tomorrow after closing it in late March due to Covid-19.

The New York Stock Exchange, by far the world’s largest stock exchange in terms of the total market capitalization of listed firms, is owned by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).

The brokers that return will be required to wear protective masks and follow social-distancing guidelines, NYSE President Stacey Cunningham wrote in a commentary published in The Wall Street Journal. They will also be asked to refrain from taking public transportation when coming to the Exchange, in order to limit their potential exposure to the virus.

Cunningham wrote: “We opted to close our floor temporarily in the early days of the pandemic to help slow the spread of disease. Two months later, we’ve learned a lot and are in a position to reopen the floor with vital new safety measures, as we begin working together to restart the U.S. economy.”

Cunningham specified that the measures enacted to open the trading floor may become more stringent if the cases of Covid-19 surge, and that while they will be opening their doors, no one — traders, brokers, or NYSE employees — will be required to come in to work. Pre-coronavirus, there were about 500 floor traders at the NYSE.

The NYSE as well as ICE’s other exchange assets have done quite well as the coronavirus has spurred an uptick in trading and clearing. First quarter consolidated net revenues were $1.6 billion, up 23% year-over-year, and ICE’s Q1  net income was $650 million, sharply up from $484 million registered in the equivalent period a year earlier. Like many other stocks, ICE dropped in late March, but since has gained back its losses and now sits at $93.77 per share, not far off its 52-week high of $102.

TipRanks data shows that out of 12 analysts, 11 rate ICE a Buy, with a $102 12-month price target for 9% upside from today’s price. (See Intercontinental Exchange stock analysis on TipRanks).

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