As a part of its efforts to stop the spread of the contagious coronavirus, the New York Stock Exchange has temporarily suspended floor trading and moved to an all electronic model effective Monday, March 23.
The history making move takes place as the United States becomes one of the hot spots for coronavirus cases with more than 23,000 diagnosis and over 300 deaths. Among those infected with the virus, more than 8,000 cases and 60 deaths are reported in New York City where the NYSE resides on Wall Street in Manhattan.
“NYSE’s trading floors provide unique value to issuers and investors, but our markets are fully capable of operating in an all-electronic fashion to serve all participants, and we will proceed in that manner until we can re-open our trading floors to our members,” said Stacey Cunningham, President of the New York Stock Exchange. “While we are taking the precautionary step of closing the trading floors, we continue to firmly believe the markets should remain open and accessible to investors. All NYSE markets will continue to operate under normal trading hours despite the closure of the trading floors.”
Technology stocks have managed to survive performing better than other industries during the coronavirus pandemic with demand growing for some products and services. The entire stock market has plummeted to historic lows because of business closures, the fallout of the travel and airline industry and fear and uncertainty among investors. The bear market volatility is in line with the stock market crashes of 1929 and 1987.
After trading closed on Friday March 20, Facebook reported losses in its stock prices with $149.73 Per share. About 30 days prior to the fall of the market on Feb. 20, the company’s stock was trading at $216.52 per share.
While Facebook struggles, Netflix survives. The company is enjoying a spike in user traffic since schools and offices across the globe are closed. Stocks for Netflix on Friday, March 20 traded at $332.83 per share. In the previous month Netflix was in one of its best periods trading at $386.56 per share.
Verizon’s stock performed better than some tech companies since schools are practicing remote learning and office workers are telecommuting. Following announcements that Verizon would prepare its network to handle increased traffic, on March 20th the nations largest telecommunications company stock traded at $51.80 per share, down from $58.09 per share In the previous month on Feb 20.
Executing a different strategy from the NYSE, Nasdaq has continued with its opening and closing bell ceremonies and using only essential personnel in its Times Square offices, but will likely need to make modifications since New York State Gov. Cuomo made an executive order that all non essential personnel must work from home and avoid commuting to work. Only first responders, medical, food and grocery personnel are allowed to work on site statewide.
“We understand the vital role the U.S. markets play in the global economy, as well as the importance of the safety and security of our employees, clients and visitors,” Tal Cohen, Executive Vice President and Head of North American Market Services, Nasdaq said in a statement. “For the safety of all market participants, Nasdaq has proactively actioned its business continuity plans and remains committed to maintaining resilient, dynamic markets. We remain in close dialogue with clients, employees, health officials, industry partners, and regulators and will revise our plans accordingly.”
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