Equity markets in the United States are scheduled to reopen on Wednesday after a two-day shit down due to Hurricane Sandy which battered New York and surrounding area on the north-east US coast. More than 3 million customers were left without power. The damage form the storm is estimated at $20 billion.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission authorized the closure of the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq as well as futures trading for Monday and Tuesday as a result of forced evacuations of New York city. Public transit was halted and there were many power outages.
“The NYSE’s headquarters are running on backup power and will keep using it if necessary all week”, Larry Leibowitz, the chief operating officer, said in a phone interview.
“The SEC has been in consultation with the markets throughout the storm and supports the decision to reopen”, John Nester, a spokesman, said in an e-mail.
“We fully plan to be up and running tomorrow,” Leibowitz said. “There’s no damage to the physical plant. We’re running off our generators.”
NYSE plans to operate the floor with at least 100 people including designated market makers and other personnel tomorrow, Leibowitz said. All NYSE-listed companies will be represented by their market makers, though the firms may not be “fully staffed,” he said.
Brokers and trading firms may experience “spotty connectivity problems” when they access markets tomorrow, Leibowitz added.