Major stock trading is halted today as fears about Hurricane Sandy continue to shut down nearly the entire Northeastern U.S. Both the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ have announced their U.S. stock exchanges will be closed today, and possibly Tuesday.
NASDAQ stated this weekend that the decision to close was made through a consultation with other U.S. exchanges, government officials, and regulators including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It also stated that the "continuity of our markets" and the state of emergency declared in New York factored into the decision not to open today. All of its exchanges outside the U.S. will be open for business today.
The NYSE released a similar statement, emphasizing the safety of its employees:
We support the consensus of the markets and the regulatory community that the dangerous conditions developing as a result of Hurricane Sandy will make it extremely difficult to ensure the safety of our people and communities, and safety must be our first priority. We will work with the industry to determine the next steps in restoring trading as soon as the situation permits.
Hurricane Sandy is scheduled to hit the Northeastern coast of the U.S. sometime today or early Tuesday. The storm is a category one hurricane and is expected to carry a large storm surge along with high winds. In addition, a wintery weather pattern coming from the west is expected to meet Sandy, possibly creating what has been dubbed a "frankenstorm" and covering the Northeast in snow.