Markets

CME Group to close Chicago trading floor as a precaution due to coronavirus

Key Points
  • The closing will take effect Friday "at the close of business," CME said in a statement, noting that no coronavirus cases have been reported at the Chicago Board of Trade trading floor. 
  • This would make CME the first major U.S. exchange to close a trading floor due to concerns over the coronavirus.
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CME Group CEO Terry Duffy on decision to close trading floor next week

CME Group announced Wednesday night it will close its Chicago trading floor in a precautionary move due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The closing will take effect Friday "at the close of business," CME said in a statement, noting that no coronavirus cases have been reported at the Chicago Board of Trade trading floor. 

This would make CME the first major U.S. exchange to close a trading floor due to concerns over the coronavirus. The New York Stock Exchange is taking precautionary measures as well, working to separate traders and other employees, according to a Reuters report citing an internal memo.

CME said floor traders in Chicago will receive an "additional q&a" on Thursday "related to the execution of certain floor products, procedures and protocols and other floor-related practices."

CME's announcement comes after several companies advised employees to work from home in an effort to prevent contagion from the virus. At the country level, Italy expanded a nationwide shutdown to all stores except grocery stores and pharmacies. The National Collegiate Athletic Association also announced its upcoming men's and women's basketball tournaments will be held without fans.

Global coronavirus cases have breached above 124,000, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows. In the U.S., the number of cases totaled at least 1,110 along with more than 30 deaths.

Concerns of the virus' rapid spread and the lack of a fiscal stimulus plan from the Trump administration to stem the potential economic slowdown sent equities tumbling on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1,400 points and closed in a bear market, down more than 20% from a record close set just last month