Wednesday, June 19, 2013
The Associated Press
NEW YORK - Wall Street is back in business.
Traders resume working on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, although much of New York is still beset by snarled traffic, power outages and flooded streets and subways.
The Associated Press
Traffic is snarled, streets are flooded, subways are out of commission and power is out in many parts of New York City, but the stock exchange at 11 Wall St. opened trading without hitch Wednesday after a historic two-day shutdown, courtesy of Hurricane Sandy.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg rang the opening bell at 9:30 a.m., right on schedule, then gave a thumbs-up as traders cheered from the iconic trading floor below, falsely rumored to be flooded, but dry Wednesday morning, and festive.
"It's good for the city, good for country, it's good for everyone to get back to work," the mayor told CNBC moments later while leaving the exchange building.
The last time the exchange closed for two consecutive days because of weather was during the Blizzard of 1888 - 124 years ago.
The company that operates the exchange, NYSE Euronext, said the trading floor Wednesday is running on backup generators since power is out in large parts of downtown Manhattan.
"It's been very smooth," Duncan Niederauer, CEO of NYSE Euronext, told CNBC from the exchange floor shortly after the clang of the opening bell. "The market-making community is more than staffed enough to be open."
He added, "We jokingly said this morning we may be the only building south of Midtown that has water, lights and food."
Outside, the normally bustling streets showed little signs of life, with people few, lights mostly out and nearly every store shuttered.
The opening follows days of scrambling by NYSE officials to make sure power, telecom connections and computers would be ready this morning. The company had booked hotel rooms nearby for traders.
Many workers on the floor use the subways to get downtown, but Hurricane Sandy left the system with its worst damage in its 108-year history. New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo, said says limited subway service will resume in New York City on Thursday.
With power out due to flooding, the exchange topped off the fuel tanks supplying its electric generators on Tuesday. The company said it can operate the exchange for 40 hours on the generators before refueling again.
The markets closed mixed.
The Dow Jones industrial average gave up an early gain and closed down 11 points at 13,097 Wednesday.
The Standard & Poor's 500 edged up less than a point to 1,412. The Nasdaq lost 11 points to end at 2,977.
Home Depot and Lowe's rose as investors anticipated more business for the home improvement chains as people made repairs in the aftermath of the devastating storm. Netflix soared after financier Carl Icahn said he had bought a 10 percent stake in the troubled company.
About three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading volume was 3.4 billion shares, in line with the recent average.