The NYSE Trading Floor partially re-opened today, May 26, 2020, after a temporary two-month closure. This marks an important milestone because operating with the Trading Floor provides investors the highest level of market quality.
Floor brokerages are now eligible to return to the Floor, with reduced headcount and restrictions in place to enforce social distancing and other safety protocols. Designated Market Makers (DMMs) continue to operate remotely as they have since March 23rd. D Orders are available, but Opening and Closing Auctions continue to operate electronically (as explained in this FAQ).
As expected, traders and investors welcomed the return of the Trading Floor. Despite the reduced headcount, Floor Brokers played a significant role in liquidity formation in both the Opening and Closing Auctions.
Multi-list options broke nearly all volume records in 2021, driven by the growth of retail participation: daily records (24 of the top 25 volume days of all-time came in 2021), monthly ADV records (April was the only month from 2021 not in the top 12 all-time), and yearly ADV records (37.3M ADV in 2021 was nearly 10M more than in 2020 and double the ADV in 2019).
Increased retail activity in the equities market has affected which stocks are trading the most, and when and where those stocks trade. We’ve previously highlighted retail’s impact on pre- and post-market volume and the opening auction, and now focus on the period immediately after the opening auction. Market participants often avoid this time of day due to higher volatility, an approach worth re-evaluating given current trends.
As the home of ETFs, the NYSE continuously works to strengthen market quality and provide the optimal trading environment for listing and trading ETFs. In April 2021, in service of this goal, the NYSE introduced new requirements and incentives for its industry-leading NYSE ETF Liquidity Program, including the assignment of additional market makers ("Less Active ETF Leads") for new and/or low-volume ETFs.