■ Stock markets set to re-open today

■ New York may be without power for days

■ Obama and Romney halt campaign events

NEW YORK began to pick up the pieces of Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath last night, after Wall Street was brought to a standstill for a second consecutive day. Millions still face power outages and closed transport networks.

The storm – which has resulted in at least 40 deaths, closed New York’s three major airports, and temporarily halted the US presidential election – moved inland yesterday, wreaking havoc in New Jersey and leaving 8m homes without electricity.

Barack Obama described the damage from Sandy as “heartbreaking for the nation” while New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said it could be days before full service resumed for the power networks and the subway – which saw widespread flooding.

The city did show signs of coming back to life yesterday, as people returned to the streets, while shops and financial institutions scrambled to resume business as usual.

Luxury department stores Saks and Macy’s said they hoped to re-open today. The city’s banks, which are expected to be losing tens of millions of pounds a day, also looked to open up their offices, although Wall Street will not be at full capacity for some time.

“It is likely some employees will work from home, some will work from backup facilities in Greenwich and Princeton, and we continue to leverage offices not impacted by the storm,” a spokesman for Goldman Sachs said yesterday. The New York Stock Exchange will run on reserve power from a generator.

IHS Global Insight warned the damage could cost up to $50bn (£31bn).