Equity markets reopened after Hurricane Sandy caused the longest weather-related shutdown since 1888.
“Today, traders are more heightened to a flash crash more than any day prior,” Rick Fier, director of equity trading at Conifer Securities in New York, said in a phone interview. His firm oversees $8 billion in assets. “Nobody cares about if the market goes up or down. You just want to make sure the market is functioning properly. With the better opening, it made the decision to sell that much easier.”
American equity markets were closed Monday and Tuesday, the first consecutive shutdowns because of weather in more than a century. The decision to open U.S. markets was announced in statements by NYSE Euronext, Nasdaq OMX Group and Bats Global Markets.
The New York Stock Exchange opened its market on time by running on backup power from generators. Brokers on the NYSE floor experienced limited Internet and mobile-phone connections while still being able to trade from the exchange.
Trading went “very smoothly, everything opened fairly quickly,” Duncan Niederauer, the CEO of NYSE Euronext, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “Participation has been a lot more active than we thought,” Mr. Niederauer said. “For some it was business as usual; for some they were using their backup sites.”
The longest weather-related U.S. trading suspension in 124 years left money managers with one day instead of three to adjust their holdings before the fiscal year ends for more than 20% of them.