U.S. stock markets will be closed for a second day tomorrow, and will be joined by the bond markets, as the New York area braces for the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
NYSE Euronext, which runs the New York Stock Exchange, said that it had agreed with other exchanges and market players to close on Tuesday. In addition, U.S. bond markets closed early today and will remain shuttered until at least Wednesday.
NYSE said it hoped to reopen Wednesday, if possible. The Big Board hasn't closed for two straight days due to weather since Hurricane Gloria struck New York in 1985, and hasn't had an unscheduled trading stoppage since Sept. 11, 2001.
NYSE on Sunday said it would close its physical trading floor today but allow trading in NYSE stocks on its NYSE Arca electronic exchange. It dropped those plans after meeting resistance from banks and brokers. The Nasdaq Stock Market, which had also planned to open electronically today, followed suit.
The closures were motivated by Sandy's approach. The hurricane, packing maximum winds of more than 90 miles per hour and bringing with it a potentially devastating storm surge, is expected to make landfall in southern New Jersey tonight or early tomorrow morning. Fearing the worst, including potentially widespread flooding in New York City and its environs, officials have closed schools, courts, offices and mass-transit systems.
Those moves, especially the latter, may have forced the exchanges' hands, as without commuter rail or subway service, it was likely to be difficult for employees and traders to make their way to work.