For the first time in more than a century, weather has stopped U.S. equity trading for two straight days as Hurricane Sandy swept across New York City.
Stock trading was canceled for a second day, joining bond markets, as 90-mile-per-hour winds and surging seas paralyzed American capital markets. The shutdown, the first for consecutive days due to weather since 1888, was announced by NYSE Euronext after consultations with other exchanges. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association earlier recommended a full market close Tuesday in dollar-denominated fixed-income securities after they shut at noon New York time yesterday.
"It's an unprecedented event coordinated with an unprecedented storm," Ryan Larson, the Chicago-based head of U.S. equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.) Inc., said in a telephone interview. His firm oversees $250 billion in assets. "The response from the exchanges and regulators in terms of the closing of the market was certainly appropriate and remains appropriate for the exchanges to be closed tomorrow as well."
Exchanges are planning to reopen Oct. 31, weather permitting, according to statements from NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc.
The last comparable closure of the New York Stock Exchange was on March 12 and 13, 1888, when a blizzard dumped 21 inches of snow on New York, according to the company's website.
Stock markets haven't closed for four days in a row since the start of 2007 when, following a weekend and the New Year's Day holiday on a Monday, they shut on Jan. 2 to observe a day of mourning for President Gerald Ford's death the previous week.