Computers Thin Ranks of NYSE Floor Traders

Iconic backdrop 'dead' as shares trade electronically
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2007 9:38 AM CST
John Thain, center, the former CEO of NYSE, did much to move the stock exchange toward electronic trading. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The famously frenetic NYSE trading floor is rapidly becoming history as more efficient computer trading replaces human traders. With most of the exchange's trading rooms shuttered, only two trading halls stay open to the 1,500 remaining traders, whose numbers are dwindling, AFP reports. "The floor as we knew it is dead," says one expert.

Many other iconic stock exchanges, including the Paris Bourse, long ago switched to electronic trading. Forty firms operated on the NYSE floor in the '90s, a number that's about to drop to five. Human traders, who handle 15% of trades, now serve largely as a scenic backdrop for TV reporters, but the NYSE's CEO says the floor will remain "an element of our model."