Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE: HIG) surged more than 12% in early trading on news that damage from Hurricane Irene wouldn't be as costly as expected.

So what: Researcher Kinetic Analysis now says Irene, which blanketed much of the East Coast and disrupted travel over the weekend, will cost insurers an estimated $2.6 billion. That's down from $14 billion last week, when meteorologists were expecting Irene to hit New York City as a Category 2 storm.

Now what: Fortunately, the storm spent much of its trip up the coast as a tropical storm, allowing structures to hold up much better than they otherwise might have and allowing investors to finally get positive on a stock they've spent much of the year selling. Do you agree? Would you buy at these levels? Weigh in using the comments box below.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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