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11:05 AM
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Wall Street Back to Work

After Hurricane Irene was downgraded to Tropical Storm Irene once it hit New York's Coney Island, the worst appeared to be over. While the major roads were closed yesterday due to flooding, the tri-state area dodged a bullet in the storm that could have been much, much worse.

Flash forward to this morning. The New York exchanges and major investment firms appear to be open and trading as usual but with lighter staff counts. Train service from Westchester County is shut down as Metronorth officials inspect tracks that were underwater in parts yesterday. In Ossining, where I live, sections of train trackers were under water and the parking lot next to the Hudson River looked like a pond.

The New York Stock Exchange is open for business and volumes seem to be in a positive direction. At press time, the Dow is up 1.5 percent to around 11,453. Not a bad start after a terrible weekend.

Here's an update from the NYSE:

NYSE Euronext has determined that its U.S.-based exchanges will be open for business as usual on Monday morning, August 29, 2011, following the passage of Hurricane Irene beyond the New York City metropolitan area. These exchanges are the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Arca, NYSE Amex, NYSE Arca Options, NYSE Amex Options, and NYSE Liffe U.S.

This decision follows a detailed review with New York City and other officials of the operational readiness of metro-area safety, power, water, and transportation systems, in addition to a readiness assessment of our own trading and data center facilities, along with consultation with staff members, trading professionals, other exchanges, and regulators.

One thing is clear: We are seeing the fruits of electronic trading. So long as the systems and infrastructure are safe and sound, business can continue. The need for traders to be at their desks to physically move trades from start to finish are over - it's now up to the electronic systems. Hedge funds and prop traders are still rather hands-on but the sell side has become more of a relationship endeavor. May we help you? Can we complete this trade for you? This is the aim of the sell side trader these days.

Thanks to electronic trading and the advances in technology the exchanges and investment banks are trading today after a battering tropical storm.

Phil Albinus is the former editor-in-chief of Advanced Trading. He has nearly two decades of journalism experience and has been covering financial technology and regulation for nine years. Before joining Advanced Trading, he served as editor of Waters, a monthly trade journal ... View Full Bio

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