Financial Technology

Financial Technology

August 28, 2011

New York Stock Exchange ready for trading Monday

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ are ready to open for trading Monday.

A spokesman for the New York Stock Exchange says its building and systems are all in working order after the worst of Tropical Storm Irene passed New York. The Nasdaq stock exchange and the CME Group, which owns the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade, also expect to open normally.

The flooding and damage in lower Manhattan were not as severe as officials had feared. Mayor Michael Bloomberg (News - Alert) said he was lifting the evacuation order for that area as of 3 p.m. The city's transit system shut down ahead of the storm and was not immediately reopened.

Weather has shut down or delayed the opening of the stock markets about two dozen times in the past. The most recent weather delay occurred on Jan. 8, 1996, when the New York Stock Exchange did not open until 11 a.m. due to a snowstorm.

But the major exchanges said they had been prepared to open even if the storm's impact had been severe. The New York Stock Exchange said it could have operated at full capacity by using its electronic exchange, the NYSE Arca (News - Alert) in Chicago, which it acquired in 2006.

Nasdaq OMX spokesman Frank DeMaria said it could have handled trading through its exchange in Stockholm, Sweden.

Securities and Exchange Commission spokesman John Nester said Sunday afternoon that the stock exchanges had informed the agency they would open and operate normally Monday. Nester said in an email that the decision was made "in consultation with the SEC (News - Alert) following a series of discussions throughout the weekend."

The weather was less of a concern for markets than it has been during past major storms because computerized trading has cut the need for live brokers to shout orders on the floor of major exchanges.

When broker Peter Tuchman started working on the New York Stock Exchange 25 years ago, he said Sunday, there were about 1,500 traders on the floor and all transactions were made through "open outcry and paper." Now he said there are just about 350 brokers and most transactions are electronic.

"It's deeply distressing to me as a broker," said Tuchman, 52, of Quattro Securities.


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