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NYSE MKT to end floor trading for small stocks

The New York Stock Exchange plans to end floor trading on its NYSE MKT venue for small capitalisation stocks in the latest example of financial dealings going completely electronic.

The move, earmarked for the second quarter, comes as NYSE prepares to transition that market to Pillar, an integrated trading technology platform designed for its equities and options markets, according to a regulatory filing.

It represents another shuttering of open outcry trading, a trend that has taken place over the past decade with the rise of electronic trading. The floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the leading energy and metals exchange, closed at the end of 2016.

A spokeswoman for NYSE, which is owned by Intercontinental Exchange, declined to comment specifically on what the NYSE MKT closure meant for the storied main floor of the New York Stock Exchange, where the opening bell is still rung every day but the ranks of traders has shrunk dramatically over time. NYSE and ICE officials have repeatedly voiced a commitment to keeping the Big Board intact.

Formerly known as the American Stock Exchange and the New York Curb Exchange, NYSE bought its rival Amex exchange in 2008 for $260m after it failed to keep pace in the battle for dominance between NYSE and Nasdaq. For NYSE, the acquisition boosted its presence in US derivatives and exchange traded funds.

NYSE MKT has 248 stocks compared with the 2,000 symbols that trade on NYSE.

When NYSE MKT transitions to Pillar, it plans to replace its floor based designated market makers with electronic DMMs, the regulatory filing said. Floor traders for the main NYSE trading floor will not be affected.

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