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Most New York Stock Exchange floor traders work from home

Homebound traders can do everything they can do at the NYSE except for broker-to-broker trades.

NEW YORK — Like many Americans, stock traders who normally crowd the floor of the New York Stock Exchange are having to adjust to working from home.

The NYSE temporarily closed its trading floor in lower Manhattan Monday and shifted to all-electronic trading as a precautionary step after two people tested positive for COVID-19.

"For today, I'm sitting here still watching the market, still conveying my opinion to customers," says Peter Tuchman, a floor trader at the NYSE for Quattro Securities. "Things are sort of seamless, as far a speed and execution go."

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Homebound traders can do everything they can do at the NYSE except for broker-to-broker trades, says Jonathan D. Corpina, senior managing partner at Meridian Equity Partners.

"There's no workaround for that at this point," says Corpina, who was working from his home office. He says most NYSE traders are also working from home.

One notable difference from working at the NYSE: Corpina doesn't have to comply with the exchange's requirement that traders don a jacket and tie.

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"I don't need to wear it," he says, referring to the jacket. "But it's propped up on the back of my chair here."

Several thousand brokers and others used to crowd the trading floor of the NYSE as recently as the 1990s. But in the years since, the rise of electronic trading grew to dominate the action on Wall Street. These days, there are about 500-floor traders at the NYSE.