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NYSE Temporarily Closed Floor and Then Moved to Electronic Trading After Positive Wuhan Virus Tests

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On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, announced that it will temporarily close its world famous trading floor and transition towards electronic trading after two people tested positive for the Wuhan virus at screenings it held this week.

According to the exchange, all-electronic trading will commence on March 23. The facilities that will be closing are the NYSE equities trading floor and NYSE American Options trading floor in New York. Additionally, the NYSE Arca Options trading floor in San Francisco will be closing.

These closures were spurred by positive Wuhan virus tests of two people, according to an account Stacey Cunningham, President of the NYSE, related to CNBC.

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The stock market has a history of closures, during events such as World War II and in the aftermath of 9/11, but this is the first time the physical trading floor of the Big Board has shut down independently as electronic trading proceeds.

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“We implemented a number a number of safety precautions over the past couple of weeks, and starting on Monday this week we started pre-emptive testing of employees and screening of anyone who came into the building,” Cunningham announced on “Closing Bell.” “If that screening warranted additional testing, we tested people and they were sent home and not given access to the building. A couple of those test cases have come back positive.”

“While those people were not in the building this week and the building had been cleaned and addressed prior to start of trading on Monday, I think it’s reflective we’re seeing things evolve,” Cunningham continued.

Wall Street has experienced considerable volatility during the Wuhan virus crisis. Earlier this week, a market-wide circuit breaker was set off twice by the NYSE due to the massive sell-off, which generated brief pauses in trading.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day under 20,000 for the first time since February 2017. This week, the  S&P 500 fell nearly 30% under a record set last month.

The exchange announced in a release that it was carrying out its business continuity plan and “trading and regulatory oversight of all NYSE-listed securities will continue without interruption.”

CME Group closed its Chicago trading floor last week as a precautionary measure due to the Wuhan virus outbreak.

As of Wednesday, the number of cases of the Wuhan virus reached over 212,000 and the confirmed cases in America are now at 7,324, per reports from John Hopkins University. So far, 115 people have died from the virus in the U.S.

Big League Guns

Democrats Introduce Expanded Background Check Legislation

Democrats are going to implement a background check which targets “extremism.”

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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and California Congressman Mike Thompson brought forward legislation on March 2, 2021 that aims to broaden the federal background check system on firearms sales, according to a report by The Hill.

Under The Background Check Expansion Act,  gun sales and purchases between all unlicensed sellers and buyers would be subject to a mandatory background check. The background checks would not be applicable for law enforcement officers, lending out firearms for the purpose of hunting, temporary transfers for self-defense, or family members gifting a firearm. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and 43 Senate Democrats have co-sponsored this bill. Thompson, who is the chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, reintroduced this legislation in the U.S. House

“For years, the bipartisan House-passed background checks bill languished in the Senate under Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Now, with Senate Democrats in the Majority, we have the opportunity to act on this overwhelmingly popular, lifesaving legislation to protect American communities,” Schumer declared in a press release.

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According to a CBS News report, President Joe Biden has repeatedly called on Congress to pass stiffer gun control laws. This gun control bill will not pass so easily given how it will need 10 Republican senators to vote in favor of it.

Against the backdrop of the January 6 storming of the Capitol, such a background check will likely feature provisions that target so-called “extremists.” The ruling class has routinely lumped average gun owners with domestic extremists and will most certainly use recent events to justify encroachments on people’s right to bear arms. 

Biden is a veteran of the gun control movement, as evidenced by his sponsorship of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 and the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. With Democrats in control of all branches of the federal government, they will certainly move to pass gun control. However, their success is not guaranteed due to moderate Democrats like Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia Joe Manchin not being completely receptive to radical gun control that could alienate them from their more right-wing constituents.

Nevertheless, the Left has shown that it’s willing to act regardless of the political context. Keeping this in mind, gun owners must be ready to beat back any kind of gun control coming from D.C. Such fights will allow the Right to rebuild its forces and make a splash in the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential race. 

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