Flooding in Lower Manhattan following Hurricane Sandy. (Louis Lanzano / Associated…)
U.S. stock markets plan to reopen Wednesday after being shuttered for two days following the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.
The New York Stock Exchange's parent company, NYSE Euronext, said trading would commence as usual with a 9:30 a.m. EDT opening bell.
The NYSE said it was in coordination with all U.S. stock, bond, options and derivatives markets. The New York Stock Exchange's building and trading floor are "fully operational" despite flooding in Manhattan's financial district.
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“We are pleased to be able to return to normal trading tomorrow," Duncan Niederauer, chief executive of NYSE Euronext said in a statement. "Our building and systems were not damaged and our people have been working diligently to ensure that we have a smooth opening tomorrow."
Wall Street, like much the rest of the East Coast, is struggling to overcome the paralysis wrought by Sandy, which brought crippling floods and power outages to millions.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York expressed hope the center of American capitalism would be up and running Wednesday after two days of closure because of the monster storm. Major stock, bond and options exchanges have been dark for two days.
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“We are cautiously optimistic that Wall Street will come back online tomorrow," Cuomo told reporters in a televised press conference Tuesday.
While the NYSE, Nasdaq and other major exchanges tested their systems ahead of a reopening on Wednesday, significant hurdles remain for Wall Street.
Chief among them: How can they get to their desks -- or, failing that, to a working computer with widespread power outages?
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While authorities worked to get bridges and tunnels connecting Manhattan with Brooklyn and New Jersey, the New York area's major mass transit systems remained out of commission.
Flooded subways could take days to repair -- authorities have not said when the underground trains many rely on would be up and running again. Many stations near Wall Street were reportedly flooded.
Commuter train lines remain offline. New Jersey Transit, which transports many Wall Street workers from suburban New Jersey to Manhattan, has suspended service.
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The Metro North railroad, which takes passengers to and from Connecticut, faces damage. Cuomo said a boat is blocking Metro North tracks.
The Port Authority Trans Hudson, or PATH train, system could be shut down for at least a week or 10 days, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said at a press conference Tuesday.
Authorities released a photo of water rushing through an elevator shaft at a Hoboken PATH train station on Tuesday.
The PATH train connects the "Wall Street West" towns of Jersey City and Hoboken to Wall Street. Jersey City is reportedly without power, as is Newark, New Jersey's largest city.
[Updated at 10:34 a.m., Oct. 30: Securities and Exchange Commission spokesman John Nester said, "We have been in close consultation with the markets throughout and support their decision to reopen tomorrow. We will continue to work with the markets as preparations are made."]
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