Cboe returns to open outcry with new trading floor

The new trading floor occupies the same space where Cboe was founded in 1973 as the first US listed options exchange.

Cboe Global Markets has returned to open outcry with the launch of a new trading floor in Chicago located in the same spot as where it was originally founded.

The new floor is located in the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Building and houses 10 trading pits including S&P 500 Index (SPX) options, Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) options, Russell 2000 Index (RUT) and SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) options pits.

The exchange operator said the new floor provides market makers and brokers with more space than before to meet growing demand for additional floor-based traders.

“Today marks a historic occasion for Cboe Global Markets and our entire trading floor community, as we return to the place of our origins where Cboe – and the US listed options market – began,” said Ed Tilly, chairman and chief executive officer of Cboe Global Markets.

“With Cboe’s founding nearly fifty years ago, we created a brand new market that has transformed the way the world manages market volatility and risk. Our trading floor has since symbolised Cboe’s relentlessly innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and embodied the strength and vigour of Chicago as the financial derivatives capital of the world.”

The development follows what was previously predicted as the death of open outcry – the face-to-face auction system, matching buyers and sellers in deals through verbal communication and hand signals – during the peak of the global pandemic.

CME Group confirmed it was permanently shuttering its physical outcry pits in May last year after they were temporarily closed in the previous March due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Cboe chose to re-open its pits in May last year, confirming that they would remain open so long as investors wanted them.

“Our customers continue to find value in open outcry trading, especially for executing larger, more complex orders, and rely on the floor for price discovery and the deep liquidity provided by our market-makers and floor brokers,” added Chris Isaacson, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Cboe Global Markets.