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NYSE to Allow Cell Phones

The SEC approves the rule change. Floor brokers will be able to contact clients.

May 13, 2003|From Reuters

NEW YORK — The din of trading stocks on the New York Stock Exchange floor soon will be punctuated by traders using their cell phones to talk to their clients.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved an NYSE rule change that will allow the use of cell phones on its noisy and frenetic trading floor to reach customers, reversing a ban on use of phones for that purpose, an NYSE spokeswoman said Monday.

Floor brokers, who execute trades on the exchange floor, will be able to dial out to and get calls from their customers using NYSE-authorized and -issued cell phones.

The cell phones will be introduced through a six-month pilot program, but the exchange has not set a date to start the trial, the spokeswoman said.

Until now, the stock exchange did not allow cell phones on its floor to contact clients.

Currently, floor brokers have to scurry between two points: the exchange floor, where specialists manage the buying and selling of shares, and the booths on the edge of the floor belonging to brokerages, where traders can call customers.

Time spent away from the crowd near the specialist meant the broker could possibly miss out on the latest trading action on the floor.

"I think it's a good thing," said Todd Leone, head of listed trading at SG Cowen. "It'll help the customers talking to the guys directly on the floor."

Not all agreed with that assessment, however.

Said one trader, "I just think it's going to create chaos."

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