4. NYSE Opens for Business

New York's still-flooded subways were a mess last Wednesday Oct. 31. Buses were backed up across all five boroughs. Commuters could not get to work on time anywhere in the City.

Still, the New York Stock Exchange opened for trading at 9:30 a.m. ET on the dot after being closed for two days due to Sandy. And perhaps even more to its credit, the Exchange closed the day without incident.

Running on backup power from generators, brokers on the NYSE floor overcame spotty Internet and mobile-phone connections to complete the first full day of trading following the longest weather-related shutdown since 1888. Duncan Niederauer, chief executive officer of NYSE Euronext ( NYX), said trading went "very smoothly, everything opened fairly quickly."

"I am pleased that the nation's securities markets were able to open today despite the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy," said Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro in a statement. "Since the weekend, the staff of the SEC and I have been in constant communication with the exchanges, market participants and other regulators assessing the situation and coordinating with the relevant parties."

Kudos to you Mary, Duncan and all those floor brokers who trudged in before dawn to make it happen. All your hard work paid off! Never has TheStreet ( TST) been so proud of our next door neighbor.

Well, maybe it didn't pay off too much. The Dow closed down a smidgen on the day and the S&P 500 essentially finished where it started.

No matter. Following a marathon performance like that, simply crossing the finish line was a mammoth victory in our eyes.

And speaking of marathons ...

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