U.S. Stock Exchanges Open for First Time Since the Storm

U.S. markets opened this morning after halting trading on Monday and Tuesday due to the raging storm.

At the Nasdaq, Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins was scheduled to ring the opening bell, signaling the resumption of business as usual—we hope. The New York Stock Exchange, which hadn’t closed for two consecutive days due to weather since 1888, was also set to open.

“Our building and systems were not damaged and our people have been working diligently to ensure that we have a smooth opening,” NYSE Euronext CEO Duncan Niederauer said in a statement.

But good intentions are no guarantee of positive results. The Times reported yesterday that the New York Stock Exchange was experiencing “connectivity problems,” while the Journal reported criticisms of the exchanges inadequate preparations for extreme events such as severe weather or terrorist attacks.

A few other notes from around Wall Street:

Goldman Sachs Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn discussed the most critical operations to get up and running with Bloomberg Television yesterday: “Tomorrow is month-end ,and we are heading to the unemployment Friday and then the election is next week,” he said. “The clients that really need people in the building are more of the trading clients.”

Traders are leaving for work extra early to make sure they’re ready for today’s open, The New York Times reports.

One market pro is expecting “significant volatility” in today’s trading.

AIG CEO Robert Benmosche said the company’s costs related to the storm would be along the lines of costs related to Hurricane Irene. “We don’t see it as anywhere near the tsunami,” he said at a conference yesterday according to Bloomberg, referring to the tsunami that blasted Japan last year.

Citigroup’s offices at 111 Wall Street will be closed for weeks, according to a memo from CEO Michael Corbat obtained by Bloomberg.

Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian writes of Sandy that “after an immediate negative impulse of several weeks, the impact on GDP as a whole will be mixed to slightly positive.”