- Stocks would trade electronically if humans cannot reach floor
- Sandy shut the U.S. equity market for two days in 2012
The New York Stock Exchange, the last U.S. stock market with a physical trading floor, wants approval to trade some equities electronically at the start of the day.
NYSE, which is owned by Intercontinental Exchange Inc., would like the option to open trading electronically when human market makers are unable to complete the task themselves, according to a proposal filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
Brookly McLaughlin, a spokeswoman for Intercontinental Exchange, said that a disaster could make the trading floor inaccessible, obliging it to use computers rather than humans to begin the day’s stock trading.
The U.S. equity market closed for two days in October 2012 in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. It was the longest weather-related shutdown since the Nineteenth Century. In the months that followed, the SEC demanded that exchanges carry out more testing on their disaster-preparedness programs.