At this point, the East Coast better be ready for Hurricane Sandy because she’s coming!
Stock exchanges have shut down market operations for the day, a decision made last night after the original plan to keep electronic trading going was scrapped. According to The Wall Street Journal, the markets will likely stay closed on Tuesday as well. Fears about how complicated it would be to keep the markets going caused the change of plan. The New York Times says this is the first weather-related closure in 30 years. Regulators and market and options operators decided to play it safe and shut it all down.
The big banks like Goldman Sachs are letting workers, for the most part, work from home. Some staffers have been asked to go to remote working stations in Connecticut and New Jersey.
Public schools, some hospitals and other facilities are closed up and down the coast where the storm is expected to hit. And over the weekend, crazy long lines outside of supermarkets and gas stations were a common sight. We’re hearing now on New York local news about a woman who bought 120 bottles of water in preparation. I witnessed what the man behind me in line at a local grocery store called “pandemonium” at the check out as carts clanked and lines became a tangled mess of people trying to pay for goods.
Hardware stores and gas stations were also packed with people purchasing provisions in case of an emergency situation. (Say that three times fast.)
And finally, thousands of flights have been cancelled today and through the coming day or two. You probably wouldn’t want to fly through a hurricane anyway.
*Update: The AP is reporting on Twitter that the financial markets will be closed tomorrow as well.