* Markets to close Monday, reversing earlier decision
* Several companies postpone earnings releases
* First weather-related closure in 27 years
* Last week, Dow off 1.8 pct, S&P off 1.5 pct, Nasdaq off
* Bond market to open until noon ET
NEW YORK, Oct 29 U.S. stock and options markets
will be closed on Monday and possibly Tuesday, the exchange
operator said, going back on a plan that would have kept
electronic trading going on Monday.
As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the New York area,
regulators, exchanges and brokers grew increasingly worried
about the integrity of markets and the safety of employees.
It will be the first time the market has closed for a
weather-related event since Hurricane Gloria on Sept. 27, 1985.
A number of companies have postponed scheduled earnings
releases, including Pfizer Inc and power firm Entergy
Corp, and more were expected to follow suit.
NYSE Euronext's New York Stock Exchange had
initially planned to shut its physical trading floor, which
would have meant operating as an all-electronic exchange for the
The storm is expected to slam into the U.S. East Coast on
Monday night, bringing torrential rain, high wind, severe
flooding and power outages. The rare "super storm" - created by
an Arctic jet stream wrapping itself around a tropical storm -
could be the biggest ever to hit the U.S. mainland, forecasters
Wall Street had originally prepared to open for business on
Monday with limited staffing after a mass transit shutdown in
New York, booking hotel rooms for key employees and leaning on
offices in other cities.
The decision to close stock and options markets came after
regulators, exchanges, and dealers discussed the unknowns that
would have been tested if the markets opened on Monday, sources
familiar with the situation said.
The bond market will remain open until noon ET, according to
SIFMA, a financial industry trade group.
Some bank offices in lower Manhattan's Financial District
are in evacuation zones and most non-critical staff and
employees who don't rely on high-speed systems, including some
investment bankers, were asked to work from home.
For a list of how Wall Street firms and exchanges are
dealing with Hurricane Sandy, please click
On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average edged up
3.53 points, or 0.03 percent, to close at 13,107.21. The
Standard & Poor's 500 Index dipped 1.03 points, or 0.07
percent, to finish at 1,411.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index
gained 1.83 points, or 0.06 percent, to end at 2,987.95.