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Now that a lot of the trading is done electronically why does trading on the "physical" stock exchanges (such as NYSE) still exists? Does every NYSE listed stock sale really go through a trader on the NYSE Floor?

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    Hopefully someone else (who knows more about it than I do) will post an answer that describes how trading actually works these days and why the physical stock exchange is necessary. However, the 2010 "flash crash" is a good reminder of what happens when we let computers take over. – Stainsor May 6 '11 at 13:01
  • Because we need them as backdrops for movies and the TV news when they talk about "the markets". A room full of giant monitors silently flipping up numbers isn't as sexy as a giant room full of people yelling at each other with tiny slips of paper all over the floor. – Justin Ohms Jul 15 '11 at 15:08
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    Possible duplicate money.stackexchange.com/q/9583/3361 – Ellie Kesselman Jan 9 '12 at 18:52
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For the second part, no most NYSE trades are done electronically.

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Non-electronic stock exchanges still exist because they used to exist. There are a lot of people in trading firms who grew up with floor trading and don't want to give it up, either because they feel more comfortable with it or because they might lose their job if they went away from it.

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    In a competitive world of finance, where every penny counts and a one second delay may cost millions i find this very hard to believe. Everything has an ROI on wall street. – Vitalik May 9 '11 at 15:15
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    I think that only about 20% of NYSE volume, mostly for high-value stocks is done via the traditional auction. The traders didn't go away due to cost, they went away because an auction system couldn't handle high frequency trading and computerized systems supposedly provide the market with more liquidity. – duffbeer703 May 10 '11 at 12:29

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