New York: The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq reopened on Wednesday after being forced to shutdown due to superstorm Sandy that devastated a large part of US East Coast in particular New York and New Jersey this week.

The New York Stock Exchange was up and running on a generator, even as the major part of lower Manhattan was without any electricity due to the devastation caused by the superstorm, the worst to hit the country in decades.

This is for the first time in more than a century that NYSE has been closed for two consecutive days due to weather related events since 1888.

The New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg rang the opening bell at about 9-30 am local time, ahead of which the NYSE officials had made elaborate arrangements including testing of its electronic systems and other major equipment.

Some 50 NYSE employees had stayed overnight to prepare for the reopening of the stock exchange after two days of unprecedented closer.

As the NYSE began its operations, industrial and consumer-staples shares led US stocks higher as officials hoped that they would have a normal trading.

"Out of this post-apocalyptic world that we're all looking at, that's a ray of good news, that they're actually able to get the exchange open," Keith Bliss, senior vice president at NYSE member firm Cuttone & Co, told The Wall Street Journal, after trading opened successfully.

In the minutes after the opening, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was higher by 65 points at 13173 and the S&P 500 added 5 points to 1416.

The Nasdaq Composite was flat. "The more I think about it, the more I think there will be a boost to the economy going forward," said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo’s WFC +0.03% funds unit, which manages USD203 billion in assets.

"Infrastructure changes that are going to have to take place in places like New York. They're just going to have to rebuild and prepare for these kinds of things in the future," he said.

Chris Bertelsen, chief investment officer at Global Financial Private Capital in Sarasota, Fla, said the day would be marked by "the compression effect", marked by above-average volume as "one day of trading basically represents three".

"However, that’s volume to the upside since we’ve had some positive underpinnings with strong earnings from Ford and BP and good news out of Europe. If we had been open over the past two days that would have been reflected in the market but since we were dark, all that is going to come out on Wednesday," he told The New York Times.

(Agencies)


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