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Sandy Aftermath: Markets to Reopen Tomorrow

Ian Wyatt

It could take months for New York City to recover from the flooding, fires and power outages Hurricane Sandy left in its destructive path yesterday. But the New York Stock Exchange is returning to business as usual on Wednesday.

Well, maybe not usual. The Wall Street Journal reported that the NYSE expects to resume floor trading tomorrow after an extremely rare two-day hiatus. Things will be anything but normal once traders return.

The financial district was among the areas that was hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy (or I guess it’s now being called “Superstorm Sandy”). Wall Street officials are unsure that all systems will be a go as early as tomorrow, and are in the process of testing electronic exchanges to make sure they still work.

NYSE Arca is the key. It trades more than 8.000 securities, including stocks listed on the Nasdaq exchange.

Unlike numerous roadways, tunnels and subway stations in Manhattan, the NYSE building was not flooded and the trading floor did not suffer any water damage. Otherwise, this Sandy Shutdown could have lasted much longer. Still, some traders may have to take a boat just to get to the financial district.

This was the first weather-related shutdown on Wall Street since Hurricane Gloria forced a one-day closure 27 years ago.

What will happen when markets reopen? We wrote yesterday about how stocks have performed after past major hurricanes and/or Wall Street shutdowns. Usually, stocks get a nice short-term pop after a major hurricane hits.

However, considering Wall Street itself was in the eye of the storm this time, things could be different than they were after Irene or Katrina.