The U.S. stock exchanges will be testing their systems most of Saturday to determine whether they can support a resumption of trading Monday. Wall Street is eager to get back to business after Tuesday's terror attack in lower Manhattan halted trading for four straight days.
This will be a critical test. It will determine whether the primary trading system and the back-up relief system, where firms blown out of lower Manhattan Tuesday shifted their data, have a solid connection.
Both the Nasdaq stock market and the New York Stock Exchange will run a full-scale test. Officials from both markets say they would not even think of resuming trading without the other.
A major concern for setting a re-opening date for stock trading has been the human side of the tragedy. No one wants to interfere with the rescue operation.
It will hardly be business as usual. But stock market officials say it is time to get back to something that looks like normalcy. "I would remind everybody that what we've had here is a physical disaster, not an economic disaster," said Hardwick Simmons, chief executive officer of Nasdaq. "And as soon as we can get back and operating and get the economic system back the way it was, we'll be better off, all of us."
Major investment firms are getting ready for the start-up. Dean Barr from Deutsche Asset Management says his company had to re-locate immediately but put itself together fast. "It is absolutely amazing to me the speed, professionalism and the courage that our people have shown during this crisis," he said. "We went live and fully operational within 24 hours of our building being evacuated and severely damaged. It was a Herculean feat."
And it appears companies are helping each other. Forget the rivalry of more normal times.
Peter Holland from Hartford Financial Services says he was deeply touched. "[There has been a] terrific outpouring of support from other companies," he said. "Even companies that have had circumstances that are difficult, have come forward offering up office space, conference rooms, meeting rooms, even if it's just a fax machine.
Analysts say it is likely to be a solemn opening Monday. People will be missing some colleagues, who may still be buried in the debris in lower Manhattan.