Markets & Stocks
Stocks to trade Monday
September 13, 2001: 6:11 p.m. ET

NYSE, Nasdaq to remain shuttered Friday but to open next week
By Staff Writer Jake Ulick
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - U.S. stock markets will reopen Monday, officials said, after an attack by terrorists bent on crippling the nation's financial capital forced the longest trading halt since World War I.

Officials, putting safety and rescue ahead of business, will keep the major exchanges closed Friday.

But Richard Grasso, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, said after tests this weekend he expects a full-day of trading Monday for the first time since Tuesday's deadly attack on the World Trade Center.

"In the course of the next few days we will do all the required stress testing that's required of our industry," Grasso said. "To make sure that by Monday morning the American people are served by the finest capital market the world has known."

Speaking at a Manhattan press conference, officials said they expect exchange employees and those involved in equity trading to be able to reach the financial district, an area currently off-limits to non-emergency personnel.

Grasso said officials tried to open as soon as possible, taking into account system infrastructure requirements and the state of human emotions.

"More important is the human issue," he said, referring to a death toll that has climbed into the thousands. "No one wants to interrupt the human process."

Grasso was joined by officials from the Nasdaq Stock Market, the Treasury Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. They spoke at Credit Suisse First Boston, an investment bank about two miles north of Wall Street.

Currently, the area around the NYSE and the American Stock Exchange is covered with dust, making it possibly unsafe for workers. Several area buildings are said to be unstable. And it's not clear if all electronic and communications networks are functional. But the officials said these issues should be resolved with satisfaction in four days.

"It is my best judgment that we will be prepared for our 9:30 open," said Hardwick Simmons, CEO of Nasdaq.

The American Stock Exchange, which is located just two blocks from the World Trade Center, will also reopen for trading at 9:30 a.m. ET Monday.

Markets face test

The longest trading hiatus since the World War I has given investors time to think about what stocks will do. Some fear a selloff.

Harvey Pitt, chairman of the SEC, addressed those concerns.

"That should not cause anyone to believe there will be something sinister like a Black Monday opening," Pitt said.

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graphicCNNfn's Christine Romans reports from NYSE on stock markets to resume trading on Monday.
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Trading of Treasury securities resumed Thursday. In Chicago, commodity and interest-rate futures began changing hands. But the New York Mercantile Exchange, within blocks of the former twin towers, was forced to cancel an effort to execute trades over the Internet due to building safety concerns.

Overseas markets, which tumbled Tuesday, stabilized later in the week.

Still, many have reason to worry about the stock market, which is enduring the worst period for profits in a decade. The attack is sure to have some impact on the confidence of consumers and business executives, whose spending fuels most of the economy.

Andy Bush, currency trader at the Bank of Montreal, told CNNfn that the market could see a big selloff at the reopen. (358K WAV) (358K AIFF)

Bernie Schaeffer, CEO of Schaeffer's Investment Research, agrees.

He expects that the Dow Jones industrial average, which ended Monday at 9,605.50, to fall about 500 points when trading resumes, followed by a bounce upward.

"But the ultimate bottom remains a good distance down the road in time and in price," Schaefer said.

Still, many economists say the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history makes it more likely that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates before its regular meeting next month. And world bankers have already pledged to pump money into their economies so that buying and selling doesn't seize up.

Phil Dow, market strategist at Dain Rauscher Wessels, is among the optimists.

"If you don't believe America is going to grow and recover from this, obviously you should sell," Dow told CNNfn. "My guess is it's going to accelerate our recovery."

A recovery would be welcome. On Monday, the Standard & Poor's 500 index closed down more than 17.2 percent on the year, while the Nasdaq is 31 percent lower in 2001. Blue chips have held up a little better. The Dow industrials are off 11 percent this year.

Before the decision many Wall Street professionals wanted to get back to business to signal a return to the normalcy that was disrupted.

"The sooner the better," said Alan Ackerman, market strategist at Fahnestock & Co. graphic