Markets Remain Closed as Sandy Approaches

LONDON -- Stock markets will remain closed in the U.S. today as Hurricane Sandy storms up the East Coast. An original plan to allow only electronic trading has also been abandoned; there will be no equity trading in the U.S. on Monday, and markets may remain closed on Tuesday. Despite this, limited trading in futures markets was taking place, and at 7 a.m. EDT both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) and the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) were lower by approximately 0.6%.

Forecasters say Hurricane Sandy may be the biggest storm ever to hit the U.S. It is expected to make landfall in southern New Jersey on Monday night. Early this morning, Sandy was producing sustained winds of 85 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Officials fear that a 10-foot tidal surge could follow Sandy's landfall, causing severe damage and flooding. As many as 10 million people are expected to lose electricity, and widespread damage to property is likely throughout the Northeast.

Today will be the first unscheduled closure of the markets since the terrorist attacks of September 2011 and the first weather-related closure since Jan.8, 1996, when 20 inches of snow fell on New York, delaying the opening of the markets. The last time markets were completely closed due to bad weather was during Hurricane Gloria in 1985.

Today's economic calendar
Despite the closure of the markets, Federal economic data will be released on schedule. Today's calendar includes personal-income and consumer spending data for September, both of which are expected to show modest rises on the previous month.

Many corporate earnings releases will also proceed as normal today, albeit with some notable exceptions. Pfizer has postponed its release, as has power firm Entergy. According to Reuters, other firms are also expected to postpone their releases until markets reopen. Among those scheduled to release results today are Anadarko Petroleum, Burger King, PG&E, Herbalife, and Baidu.

European markets
In Europe, markets faded after opening and were showing modest losses by 7 a.m. EDT. Pressure is growing on Europe's official-sector lenders (governments) to take a haircut on Greek debt, something German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble described on German radio as having "little to do with reality," despite appearances to the contrary and growing pressure from the IMF. In Italy, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has threatened to withdraw his party's support from Italy's coalition government to force a premature general election, raising concerns that bond yields could rise.

Due to the closure of the U.S. markets, trading in Europe was expected to be quieter than usual. At 7 a.m. EDT, the DAX was down 0.6%, the CAC was down 0.9%, the FTSE MIB was down 1.6%, and the IBEX was down 0.8%. In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.6%, with banking and insurance shares trading lower, along with miners. Anglo American was down 2.2% following a broker downgrade and news that it has reached a tentative deal with unions to rehire 12,000 dismissed workers at its South African platinum mines.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is not an investor in Anglo American, but he did recently invest $1 billion in FTSE 100 blue-chip brand, expanding his stake in the company to more than 5%. The business concerned is a famous British name with global expansion potential -- and you can discover the identity of the company and the price he paid in this special exclusive report. Best of all, the report is free, so download it today while it's still available.

Are you looking to profit from this uncertain economy? "10 Steps To Making A Million In The Market" is The Motley Fool's latest report. We urge you to read it today -- your wealth could be transformed. Click here now to request your free, no-obligation copy. The Motley Fool is helping Britain invest. Better.

Further investment opportunities:

Roland Head has no shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Baidu.com. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Baidu.com. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2081876, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/21/2014 8:37:36 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement