A Historic Day in the Markets

As the East Coast braced for Hurricane Sandy, the major markets were closed on Monday and will be closed for trading Tuesday as well. It marks the first time since the aftermath of Sept. 11 that the NYSE, owned by NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX  ) , has been closed abruptly for two or more consecutive days. Before then, you'd have to go all the way back to the end of World War II to find consecutive days the floor was closed for unusual reasons.

While the usual hustle and bustle of a market day was nowhere to be seen Monday, that's not to say there was no activity. Obviously, there was no change in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) , as none of its components was traded, but Dow futures were traded this morning on their usual schedule. Futures fell 61 points, or 0.5%, to close at 12,993. Futures and options will still trade on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange from 6 p.m. ET Monday until 9:15 a.m. ET Tuesday morning, according to CME Group (Nasdaq: CME  ) .

Several notable events were either pushed back or thrown into doubt entirely today as a result of the severe weather on the Atlantic coast. Dow component Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) announced that it will push back its third-quarter earnings report from Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 10 a.m. ET to Thursday, Nov. 1 at 10 a.m. because of conditions expected from the hurricane.

On a macro level, the Labor Department's October jobs report, scheduled to be released this Friday, Nov. 2, could also be delayed. Officials are trying to ensure a timely release of the information, which is scheduled to be the last report on the labor market before the Nov. 6 elections. If the Friday report is postponed, it will be the first time since the 1996 government shutdown that unusual circumstances have caused such a delay.

In other news, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) officially unveiled its Windows Phone 8 today, the much-anticipated new operating system from the tech giant. Phones will begin selling in November, and they will come fully equipped with one year of ad-free streaming on the popular music application from Pandora (NYSE: P  ) .

It's been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who've watched their company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of its own tablet, along with the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market. In this brand-new premium report on Microsoft, our analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, the challenges are many. He's also providing regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.

John Divine has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. You can follow him on Twitter, @divinebizkid, and on Motley Fool CAPS, @TMFDivine.

The Motley Fool owns shares of CME Group and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Microsoft and NYSE Euronext. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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