Despite the howling winds and torrents of water—rain and flood—that Hurricane Irene hurled at the business district of New York City, business continued pretty much as usual on Monday morning, with some companies opening their offices and others advising employees to work from home until transportation was fully restored.
The equity exchanges—NYSE Euronext (NYX), Nasdaq OMX Group, Bats Global Markets and Direct Edge Holdings LLC—all opened for regular sessions, bond market schedules held to routine, and the New York Mercantile Exchange opened as well. The major indexes all closed higher, with the S&P 500 and the Dow rising more than 2% and the Nasdaq surging more than 3%.
While some institutions such as American Express said that their buildings would remain closed, largely due to a lack of employee transportation, the company said it would be open for business with its New York-based employees working remotely. Others, like Goldman Sachs, merely needed to remove the sandbags and open the doors.
The monstrous storm that barreled up the East Coast during the weekend left billions of dollars of damage in its wake, whether from downed trees and power lines, storm surge or flooding from torrential rains, but on Sunday afternoon most areas hit by the storm were beginning to clean up and evaluate the toll.