U.S. Stock Market To Remain Closed Thursday

U.S. stock exchanges will remain closed Thursday, but will definitely reopen by Monday, according to market officials.

At a press conference of NYSE, Nasdaq, SEC and Treasury officials, NYSE chairman Richard Grasso said the markets could open as soon as Friday, but that respect for rescue efforts and the need for stable trading conditions would dictate when the stock exchanges reopen.

However, trading in U.S. treasury securities and most commodities will resume tomorrow. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Options Exchange will both be open tomorrow, but will not trade U.S. equity products such as futures and options.

European and Latin American financial markets stabilized Wednesday on a massive coordinated liquidity injection into the world banking system. The U.S., European and Japanese banks injected a staggering $118 billion into their banking systems, and Group of Seven finance ministers pledged to provide needed liquidity. With the European Central Bank meeting to discuss interest rates tomorrow, some speculated that the U.S. Federal Reserve might take part in a coordinated easing of interest rates.

But with U.S. commerce brought to a standstill for a second straight day, the odds increased that U.S. GDP for the third quarter, which ends this month, will be negative. And with many companies depending on a strong month to make their quarter, some analysts speculated that third-quarter earnings could be even worse than expected. Nonetheless, investors were urged to avoid knee-jerk selling when U.S. stock exchanges reopen.

Oracle said it still plans to release earnings tomorrow, as scheduled.

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