Fox Business has reported that the possible escalation of the novel coronavirus crisis may prod the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to close down its trading floor in Lower Manhattan.
Appearing on the Claman Countdown programme Friday, Fox Business’ Charles Gasparino cited unnamed sources as claiming that the NYSE is “beginning to prepare for the possibility that the floor might not be able to open”.
“It's a mixture of both humans and an automated trading system, computerised trading system. So they're planning for a possibility that the […] floor traders, the brokers, the designated market makers can't make it in because they have to stay home”, he added, arguing that the NYSE will have "some sort of a test run" in the next few days.
Separately, Gasparino asserted that major Wall Street companies are telling employees to brace for the deterioration of the situation due to the coronavirus, instructing them to “be prepared to work from home”.
“Test your systems out, make sure your computer works, make sure you can get into the company system to trade”, the firms reportedly pointed out.
Stocks Nosedive Further Amid Coronavirus Fears
The remarks followed stocks sinking again on Friday amid coronavirus-related concerns, leaving the Wall Street with its worst week since October 2008.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 357 points, or 1.4%, to 25,409, while the S&P 500 shrank by 24 points, or 0.8%, to 2,954. Earlier, the Nasdaq Composite fell by 414.30 points.
The developments came as World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters earlier this week that for the moment, the WHO is “not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus, and we’re not witnessing large-scale severe disease or deaths”.
“Does this virus have pandemic potential? Absolutely it has. Are we there yet? From our assessment, not yet”, he added.
On a global scale to date, the coronavirus disease has infected over 85,000 people, of whom 2,900 have died and nearly 40,000 have recovered. The deadly epidemic has spread from the Chinese city of Wuhan to over 55 countries so far, including the US, where the first coronavirus death was confirmed in Washington state on Saturday.