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Wall Street shuts down as Hurricane Sandy looms

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Equity trading was suspended in the US today as Hurricane Sandy approached New York City with 70-mile an hour winds and a threat of an 11 foot sea surge.
Wall Street shuts down as Hurricane Sandy looms

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) moved to shut down Wall Street trading floors today and may extend the closure through to 30 October, Bloomberg reports.

The SEC’s decision follows an earlier one by the New York Stock Exchange. Wall Street is home to 13 exchanges and 170,000 securities industry employees. The NYSE and the Nasdaq are among those suspending operations to protect workers.

Options trading was also suspended on major derivatives exchange the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). The storm, being referred to as ‘Frankenstorm’ in media reports, is expected to come ashore tomorrow in southern New Jersey, placing 60 million people at risk.

Forecasters say it could be the largest ever storm to hit the US mainland and is expected to topple trees, damage buildings and cause widespread power outages over the next few days. Hurricane Sandy has already killed 66 people in the Carribean.

Yesterday, staff were encouraged to work from home as the city prepared for extreme conditions. Subway, bus and commuter rail services were also closed at 7pm on Sunday 29 October. Meanwhile, businesses, schools and government departments across the region have also been forced to close.

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