NYSE Opens With Few Technical Problems

One trader calls connections "sporadic" but it could've been worse.
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Trading resumed with few technical hitches at the

New York Stock Exchange

, which opened for the first time in seven days after terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center.

"We're fine," said a spokeswoman at the NYSE. "I'm sitting here looking at my screen and everything's fine. It's just that we're lower." The NYSE's Web site, which usually provides up-to-date information on trading activity, wasn't easily accessible over the Internet.

Outside the exchange, traders were unwilling to comment on the systems' performance, saying they'd been told not to discuss it.

Elsewhere, participants said they experienced no problems making trades at the Big Board, though Peter Blatchford, trader at Miller Tabak, called connections "sporadic" before bolting off the phone. Barry Berman, head of stock trading at Robert W. Baird & Co., said trading was technically unproblematic but that the market could be volatile "until people figure out what stocks will be affected."

"They did testing on Saturday and everything went smoothly," said Giri Cherukuri, head trader at Oakbrook Investments, adding that trades were fine though stocks at the NYSE were "slowly converging" lower this morning.

The NYSE worked around the clock this weekend to ensure that the technical and logistical aspects of the reopening would be smooth. The NYSE's building, which is a few blocks from where the World Trade Center stood, wasn't damaged, though the attack knocked out power to the Wall Street area and damaged telecommunications equipment.

Verizon Communications

has been testing systems that feed the exchange throughout the weekend, said it could take months to fully restore service to lower Manhattan.

"We lost dial tone here on certain lines, but Verizon rerouted it," said Jason Kramer, an NYSE technician. Kramer noted that the phones, which used to be a direct connection to brokers, now must be dialed. "They gave us all they could in two days, and we gave it out to the brokers as instructed. Today everything came up fine."

Kristen French contributed to this story