NEW YORK – Wall Street firms and exchanges prepared to open for business on Monday, at least with a skeleton staff, with many executives, traders and bankers set to work from home, particularly those whose office is in lower Manhattan's Financial District, which is more vulnerable to storm surge caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Here is a breakdown of what the major financial institutions said about carrying out business on Monday:
SECURITIES INDUSTRIES AND FINANCIAL MARKETS ASSOCIATION (SIFMA)
The investor group said it is recommending an early close of noon EDT on Monday for the trading of U.S. dollar-denominated, fixed-income securities. The early close will not affect the closing time for settlements.
SIFMA added its member firms should decide for themselves whether their fixed-income departments remain open for trading.
NASDAQ OMX GROUP
The exchange operator, whose logo towers over New York's famous Times Square, plans to open for trading on Monday, a spokesman said. Times Square Alliance, an organization that works to improve and promote Times Square, is due to ring the opening bell on Monday, according to a statement on Nasdaq OMX Group Inc's website published on Sunday.
NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE
NYSE Euronext said it would close its physical trading floor operations, the first time weather has triggered a close since 1985. Electronic trading of NYSE-listed stocks will continue as normal. It will be the first time NYSE has gone fully electronic.
"We will continue to communicate and coordinate activities with regulators and government officials, other market centers, member firms and all of our customers," NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer said in a statement on Sunday.
CME Group Inc said it was suspending floor trading on Monday at NYMEX headquarters, the world's biggest oil and energy futures and options market. But electronic trade at all of the CME will open at the regularly scheduled times at Globex and ClearPort, CME's online electronic platforms.
DEPOSITORY TRUST & CLEARING CORPORATION
DTCC, an industry-owned corporation, said it would maintain operations on Monday, with the exception of all certificate-based services -- deposits , withdrawals, envelope and New York Window services -- that will be suspended. Deadlines for clearing funds, settlements and other processes will be as usual, it added.
"We are confident that we will operate smoothly tomorrow and for the remainder of the week," DTCC CEO Michael Bodson said in a statement on Sunday.
The Wall Street giant told employees in an internal memo Sunday that the firm will be open for business on Monday as Hurricane Sandy approaches, though only employees "critical" to operations will be asked to get to downtown Manhattan, and then only if they can do so safely.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc -- which has a number of offices in Manhattan, including one in an area to be evacuated -- will have other employees working from Greenwich, Connecticut, and Princeton, New Jersey, and many employees will work from home as well, the memo said.
The bank, which employs about 25,000 people in New York City and another 6,500 in Delaware, told employees it would keep its buildings and branches in the low-lying areas of New York City, that are under an evacuation order, closed on Monday.
All its other office buildings in New York City, New Jersey and Delaware will be open for business and a decision to open for retail customers would be made on a branch-by-branch basis.
A JPMorgan Morgan Chase & Co spokeswoman said many of the bank's traders lived in Manhattan and will be in the office on Monday. The bank expected to be fully operational, using backup trading and technology from Europe or Asia as needed, she said.
The bank also announced it would waive a number of checking account and loan fees for customers beginning Sunday through Wednesday across seven states and the District of Columbia.
BANK OF AMERICA
Bank of America Corp said its Two and Four World Financial Centers offices in downtown Manhattan would be closed Monday, while other New York office buildings, including One Bryant Park, would be open.
All New York City bank branches will be closed on Monday, as will Merrill Lynch wealth management offices in New York and Mid-Atlantic states. The bank said it will work with customers who face financial hardships caused by the storm on a case-by-case basis.
Citigroup Inc has its trading floor near the Hudson River in the Tribeca neighborhood in Manhattan, putting it in a potential flood zone. The bank said it would operate from a backup trading floor in New Jersey and will shuttle critical employees there as necessary. It said "non-critical personnel should invoke their work-from-home strategies".
The Swiss bank is situated by Madison Square Park in New York, outside of the city's evacuation zones for hurricanes. Credit Suisse Group AG planned to open its trading floor as usual on Monday, staffed with employees that live nearby and key personnel that can access systems remotely.
The world's largest alternative asset manager said its would keep its New York office in central Manhattan closed on Monday.
"We are asset managers, rather than market makers or traders, so working remotely is less of a problem. We do not think that it will have even a minor effect on our business," a Blackstone Group LP spokesman said.
Wells Fargo & Co , which has about 1,170 locations in Sandy's path, had already closed some offices by Sunday afternoon and said it would keep some 150 branches in New York and Connecticut shut on Monday.
KKR & CO
The private equity firm said it has asked all New York City-based employees to stay at home and work remotely. KKR & Co LP's headquarters are in midtown Manhattan.
(Writing by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Richard Pullin)