‘behind the White House, this is the 2nd cleanest, safest place to be’

“Coming into the building today, clearly, emotions were felt. We were very excited to be back in this reopening,” trader Jonathan Corpina told Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade, while wearing a protective mask and standing on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Monday morning.

Corpina, a senior managing partner at Meridian Equity Partners, is one of the first brokers to go back to the iconic floor after it was temporary closed for more than two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The changes to the floor post COVID-19 are noticeable and it’s not back to business as usual, with strict social distancing guidelines all around.

“Screening, walking into the building, they were taking our temperatures, and then once on the floor, we have to wear a mask required at all times,” said Corpina.

“I would debate that behind the White House, this is the second cleanest, safest place to be in the United States right now,” said Corpina. “Everybody in this building right now feels very comfortable to be here.”

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo Rings The Opening Bell to mark the historic reopening of NYSE trading floor on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, in New York. New York. (New York Stock Exchange via AP Images)

Corpina says six of the 16 members in his firm went back on the floor today, and looks forward to when the rest come back.

“Back in this room right now, the sights, the sounds, the action that goes on around you – albeit less today with the capacity constraints – it certainly adds to being more productive and being much more efficient when trading here on the floor,” said Corpina.

“There are some tools that we have here on the floor that are only on the floor and cannot be used or accessed from outside the building. So having those back in place is clearly a benefit for the end investor,” he added.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo rang the opening bell on Monday, accompanied by Stacey Cunningham, the president of the New York Stock Exchange. Standing from the balcony they exchanged elbow-bumps to celebrate the re-opening.

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