Say “Aaaaah…” Good. Now jump into that trading pit and start screaming.
Floor traders entering the New York Stock Exchange Monday morning were greeted by medical staff in scrubs and masks, ready to take their temperatures with digital thermometers as part of a stepped-up security measure aimed at keeping the floor open despite the coronavirus outbreak.
“It was freaky,” said one trader who underwent the screening. “It was good that they did it, but it definitely makes you wonder how much longer we’re going to keep coming in here every day.”
Another insider described the scene at NYSE as “orderly” and gave the exchange high marks for the way that the temperature checks were handled. Still, many were skeptical whether flocking to the NYSE’s trading pit was wise, given the recent bans and advisories against public gatherings.
“I can’t go to a bar or restaurant, but I can still come here?” one trader said. “That seems crazy to me.”
As The Post reported last week, NYSE has been clear that it aims to keep the trading floor open amid the pandemic with certain precautions, like the physical deep cleaning that it performed on Friday afternoon. A NYSE spokeswoman confirmed to The Post that the new screening process is a step to ensure that the trading floor can continue to operate even while peers like the CME and NASDAQ have closed their trading floors altogether.
NYSE officials also spent Monday fighting off new chatter that the exchange should cease operations entirely to keep the stock market from its record plummet.
“It is important for the markets to remain open, and for them to function in a fair and orderly manner, as they have been,” NYSE President Stacey Cunningham tweeted early Monday afternoon. “Closing the markets would not change the underlying causes of the market decline, would remove transparency into investor sentiment, and reduce investors’ access to their money. This would only further compound the current market anxiety.”