The New York Stock Exchange, seen here last week, will not be its usual frantic… (Getty Images )
Wall Street is shutting down as Hurricane Sandy barrels down on the East Coast
Both the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market will suspend trading on Monday and indicated they might stay closed Tuesday.
This would be the first time trading has been halted in all U.S. stocks since a four-day stretch after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
There had been complaints Sunday to the Securities and Exchange Commission that keeping markets open – even using just electronic trading – could be complicated and unfair to customers, according to several media reports.
“We support the consensus of the markets and the regulatory community that the dangerous conditions developing as a result of Hurricane Sandy will make it extremely difficult to ensure the safety of our people and communities, and safety must be our first priority,” NYSE said in a statement.
Nasdaq, which is all electronic, said the decision to suspend trading was made in consultation with regulators.
Other exchanges, such as the all-electronic Direct Edge and the New York commodity trading floor of CME Group Inc., also will be closed for trading.
Meanwhile, many of America’s biggest financial firms have told employees to stay away from high-rises that dominate lower Manhattan. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and American Express Corp. both have headquarters in potential flood zones, while JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., and Wells Fargo & Co. also have offices there.
The areas near these buildings are in a zone that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called for evacuation over fears the areas might be affected by a storm surge. The city, which boasts the nation’s biggest public transportation system, has also suspended all train and bus service Monday.