Business as usual despite stock market closure

By: Rob Hughes Email
By: Rob Hughes Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KKCO)-- For the first time in over 120 years, the U.S. markets closed for two days in a row due to severe weather.

Millions of trades worldwide are made on the New York Stock Exchange every business day. Technology has revolutionized the financial industry. If this unexpected closure had happened thirty years ago, things would have been a lot different.

Tuesday, it was business as usual for many, even though the markets were closed.

"When I started in the business 30 years ago, we had to pay a service to run a line into our offices, so we could watch the DOW," said Jack Connolly, a Certified Financial Planner with Connolly Financial Group in Grand Junction.

What only used to be available to professional investors, is now available to anyone.

"Now you can watch it on your smart phone, so the whole world is really attuned to what is happening on a minute by minute basis, which may not be a good thing. We need to give the market a little time. It's a whole new world; I can turn and look at a TV or smartphone and know what the world does," added Connolly.

The guys you see glued to computer monitors and telephones on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange make up a huge part of the financial services industry.

"The people on the floor execute all the trades on the market themselves, so they represent companies and other organizations. So when they're not working, obviously nothing is happening on the floor of the exchange, but they're the important people, the pivotal people that make all the trades," said Connolly.

Many trades are also done electronically; but even though the floor traders were off, millions of financial consultants nationwide have been working the last two days.

"Most of what we do are talking to clients and meeting with clients, discussing portfolio objectives, addressing needs and prospecting," said Ford Keeler, a financial consultant and registered principal with Financial West Group in Grand Junction.

Major events can have a negative impact on the markets.

"There hasn't been a huge swing, unlike 9/11, when the market was way down, because of the obvious impact 9/11 had on our economy. This inconvenience of the storm, really, up to now, hasn't impacted the markets," said Keeler.

But for now, orders investors have placed are on hold, and their money is safe.

"Nobody is really losing an money, not at all," said Connolly.

This was the first unplanned closing of the financial markets since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A two-day weather related closure of the exchange hasn't happened since 1888, when a blizzard hit New York City.

The U.S. market are scheduled to reopen Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 9:30am ET.

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