Oct 30 - U.S. stock markets are expected to get back on their feet on Wednesday with a reopening of the New York Stock Exchange after the worst storm to hit New York City since 1938 left the major financial district without power and under water. Conway G. Gittens reports.
U.S. financial markets will re-open on Wednesday after being crippled for two days by the worst storm to hit New York City in 75 years. Even with the neighborhood surrounding the New York Stock Exchange still without power and parts under water, NYSE Euronext Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Leibowitz says it's time for Wall Street to get back to work. SOUNDBITE: LAWRENCE LEIBOWITZ, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, NYSE EURONEXT (ENGLISH) SAYING BY PHONE: "The world is looking at the U.S. financial markets and in many ways the world is looking at the New York Stock Exchange. When you turn on the television that's what you see and we need to prove that the markets are operating and functioning and people can do their business and capital can flow and all those things happen and so that every day that ticks by makes it feel like, what's going on here?" The decision to re-open was not the NYSE's alone. Conversations and testing have been going on all day. Its cross-town rival, The Nasdaq is on board, and so are the Wall Street firms who have been pushed out of their normal trading floors by the disaster. SOUNDBITE: LAWRENCE LEIBOWITZ, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, NYSE EURONEXT (ENGLISH) SAYING BY PHONE: "We want to make sure that our customers can actually get to us. So sometimes that could be our side, so maybe we have a Verizon problem coming into the building, sometimes it could be their side and we want to make sure that everybody has gone in and tested all of their routes and their alternate routes to make sure they have a way to get to us. We were doing both of those test plans at once." But there's more to saving face here. The exchanges are losing $1 million a day, according to Sandler O'Neill. And there's a lot of information to trade on for the rest of the week says, Craig Dismuke, Senior VP of Vining Sparks in Memphis, Tennessee. SOUNDBITE: CRAIG DISMUKE, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, VINING SPARKS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "For example, Thursday's ADP report on employment, the ISM manufacturing report on Thursday, Friday's employment data and so its, we like to, it wouldn't be ideal to have three days where we are closed and then get that much economic data coming in and have a lot of pent up trading, I think you could see a lot of volatility." And there's one more important reason the doors of the NYSE and equity markets need to be open on Wednesday. It's the end of the month and the end of the fiscal year for many mutual funds, and portfolio managers need to make those final trades. The question remains, with NYC's infrastructure still hobbled will there be enough hands on deck to handle any technical snafus?