The New York Stock Exchange reopens for regular trading today (Wednesday, October 31st) after being shut down for two days because of Hurricane Sandy.
The exchange said in a statement Tuesday that its building and trading floor are fully operational and that normal trading will resume at the usual starting time of 9:30 a.m.
There had been erroneous reports Monday that the exchange floor had flooded. Exchange spokesman Ray Pellecchia said the exchange’s building did not have any flooding or damage
Tuesday marks the first time since 1888 that the NYSE remained closed for two consecutive days because of weather. The earlier shutdown was caused by a massive snow storm.
Sections of Manhattan were inundated with water on Tuesday and power was shut off to millions of people and businesses up and down the East Coast.
Manhattan’s financial district was one of the hardest hit when Hurricane Sandy slammed New York Monday afternoon and through the night.
Initial reports that the exchange was three feet underwater were denied by a press spokesman.
“There has been no damage to our building or systems, and we will conduct tests with the industry today with the aim of reopening U.S. markets on Wednesday,” NYSE spokesman Ray Pellecchia said in a statement.
Though they would not go into specifics, a number of generators must be located onsite in order for the prospect of a Wednesday reopening to be considered, since lower Manhattan remains without power and will likely continue as such for as long as week, according to city power executives.
The closure has made several records in the history of the exchange, as Monday’s closing was the first time that the markets were formally shut since the days following the September 11 attacks in 2001.
Beyond that, it was the first time that it closed since Hurricane Gloria 27 years ago.
When today’s closure was announced it was became first time that the NYSE was closed for two consecutive days due to weather since 1888.
Like much of the city, the Exchange braced for the impact of Hurricane Sandy on Sunday, lining up a sandbag barrier outside the building on iconic Wall Street.
Nasdaq officials began employing their contingency plans as soon as they came to the decision to close on Sunday around 10.30pm.
Traders were able to continue to complete a drastically-reduced level of orders electronically, as many banks have remote systems set up so that employees can work from home in crisis situations.
The New York Stock Exchange, which is a privately-held company in itself, keeps a secondary location up and running in case of emergency where all data is stored.
The problem there, however, is that the data centre is in Mahwah, New Jersey, which is dealing with potentially more structural damage than New York.
According to Wall Street and Tech, the centre boasts a supply of 28 megawatts of power, which equates to the amount used to power 4,500 residential homes.
Additionally NYSE spokesman Robert Rendine told The New York Times that they have a number of generators and sufficient fuel to power the site for at least one week if electricity does not return.
“I’m a little surprised that the exchanges couldn’t secure the technology needed to keep the market operating,” said Dominic Salvino, a trader from the Chicago Board Options Exchange told Bloomberg Businessweek.
“It seems unreasonable that the nation’s financial markets have to shut down just because everyone has located themselves within five miles of each other in New Jersey. A snow storm in Chicago wouldn’t shut down trading on the East Coast.”
The ripple effects are already being seen, as companies are postponing their quarterly earnings, which were scheduled to be released earlier this week.
According to CBS News, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and media conglomerate Thomson Reuters are two of the tardy reportees.
Dozens of companies have postponed earnings reports this week because of the storm, but Ford Motor Co. did release results for the third quarter that topped Wall Street expectations.
Ford’s revenue fell 3% to $32.1 billion because of the economic crisis in Europe and falling sales in South America. The company exceeded Wall Street’s revenue forecast of $31.5 billion largely because of North America, where revenue jumped 8%.
European stock markets rose broadly Tuesday after falling the day before. Trading was subdued in the wake of the storm. Britain’s FTSE 100 index rose 0.9%, Germany’s DAX rose 1.1 percent and the CAC-40 in France was 1.5% higher.
Crude oil rose 14 cents to settle at $85.68 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
U.S. bond trading was closed Tuesday.
Electronic trading for U.S. stock index futures was open, but trading volume was very light and the price moves were minuscule.
As of the regular close of trading at 9:15 a.m., Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 8 points to 13,062. S&P 500 futures added 3.50 points to 1,411.10. Nasdaq futures slipped 3.75 points to 2,655.25.
On Monday, when regular U.S. stock trading was also closed, stock index futures fell slightly.