Markets to reopen Monday
©New York Times
© St. Petersburg Times,
NEW YORK -- Wall Street will resume stock trading Monday morning after being shut down since Tuesday by the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
The suspension in trading is the longest since the Great Depression.
After consulting with New York City officials, securities firms and local utility companies, top executives of the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market said Thursday that they decided to wait until 9:30 a.m. Monday to resume trading.
The entire financial district in lower Manhattan was closed after hijackers slammed two jetliners into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, destroying them. Since then, rescue workers have been searching for survivors in the rubble, just blocks away from the New York Stock Exchange at Broad and Wall streets. Richard Grasso, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, said exchange officials and other financial executives did not want to interfere with the search efforts.
"No desire to resume trading will take precedence over the desire to find every possible human being that is buried in that mass," Grasso said at a news conference Thursday afternoon in Manhattan.
Hardwick Simmons, the chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market, said the decision to wait until Monday to resume stock trading was made unanimously by all the parties involved. Stock market officials had previously said trading could possibly resume as early as Friday.
Officials of the Big Board and the Nasdaq said they would test their computerized market systems Saturday before beginning trading Monday.
The last time stock trading was suspended for such a long period was in March 1933, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a national bank holiday to stop bank runs and determine which banks were insolvent.
The bond market did resume trading Thursday after being shut down for two days. Unlike stocks that are traded on the actual floor of the New York Stock Exchange, bonds are traded electronically among dealers at various securities firms.
The prices of Treasury securities rose, as jittery investors sought a safe haven for their investments.
Tuesday's destruction of the twin towers and the terror attack on the Pentagon have further unnerved investors, who were already worried about the slumping economy. A number of people on Wall Street fear that the attacks will push the United States into a recession.
Thursday, the price of the benchmark 10-year Treasury note jumped 1 22/32, to 102 31/32. The note's yield, which moves in the opposite direction of the price, fell to 4.62 percent, from 4.84 percent Monday, the last day of trading.
The 30-year Treasury bond gained 22/32, to 99 24/32, while its yield dropped to 5.39 percent, from 5.44 percent Monday.
Trading also resumed in some futures contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Overseas, stocks were mostly higher in Europe on Thursday, following a modest recovery in Asia. Trading was relatively quiet, since Wall Street was closed.
In London, the FTSE 100 index of leading British stocks closed up 61.50 points, or 1.26 percent, to 4,943.60. In Paris, the CAC 40 stock index slipped 0.39 points, to 4,113.87. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225-share index rose 2.99 points, to 9,613.09. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index of blue chips gained 75.59 points, or 0.8 percent, to 9,569.21.
The dollar was lower Thursday. The euro was quoted in New York on Thursday at 91.21 cents, up from 90.70 late Wednesday, while the dollar dropped to 118.64 yen Thursday, from 119.37 yen.
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