The U.S. stock market, shut down by the terror attack in lower Manhattan Tuesday, is expected to be back in operation no later than next Monday.
Stock market officials and representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission met Wednesday to discuss the question of when to start trading again. Some experts are eager for Wall Street to conduct business as usual almost immediately, to deny the terrorists some degree of satisfaction.
But the logistics of re-opening the stock market are cumbersome, from communications and power, to the safety of structures affected by the collapse of the World Trade Center. Just getting people involved in trading in and out of Manhattan could be a problem.
Stock market officials also are aware of their public image. Some believe it would be insensitive to re-open the stock market, while the rescue operation is still at an early stage.
According to Richard Grasso, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, there is a chance that trading could be resumed as early as Friday, but certainly no later than Monday. He said, "The test must be, are we going to serve the American investor with the same degree of excellence that has made our markets, over these past 200 years, the most admired in the world? Most importantly, that we avoid doing anything, that in any way, interrupts the recovery operations that are going right now on a 24 hour a day basis down at the site of the former twin towers."
Experts say the stock market tends to move sharply lower immediately following a tragic event. Indeed, many traders seem to prefer Monday as the re-opening day. They feel investors will come back less nervous, especially if they have the weekend to calm down.