US stocks closing: U.S. stock index futures fell in a shortened session on Monday and cash equity trading was canceled as powerful Hurricane Sandy bore down on the U.S. East Coast, closing equity trading for Tuesday.
Monday's shutdown was the stock market's first weather-related closure in 27 years.
U.S. stock markets will remain closed on Tuesday, the operator of the New York Stock Exchange said, depending on the damage from the huge and dangerous storm on financial center New York City overnight and on Tuesday.
Index futures stopped trading electronically at 9:15 a.m. (1315 GMT), but will reopen at 7 p.m ET for the overnight session during European and Asian hours, closing again at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday morning.
NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq OMX Group said they made their decision in consultation with industry executives and regulators, and intend to reopen Wednesday, conditions permitting.
It doesn't make sense to put people in harm's way or to only have half a market, said Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at ConvergEx Group in New York. If just the electronic market was open, that wouldn't provide enough interest, with everything else still closed.
Sandy, a mammoth storm, took aim at the most densely populated U.S. Northeast Coast on Monday, forcing hundreds of thousands to seek higher ground, halting public transport and closing schools, businesses and government departments.
Italian political turmoil and Spanish hesitancy over seeking euro-zone assistance put the two countries on the front line of the region's debt crisis and back under market pressure on Monday as their leaders met in Madrid.
We have an illiquid market, we have a risk-off situation from overseas, and we have some issues going on in the States with Sandy, so that is impacting things a little more than expected, said David Lutz, managing director of trading at Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets in Baltimore.
S&P 500 futures fell 4.9 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 69 points and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 15.75 points.
Futures closed well off their session lows.