After a historic two-day closure of the markets, traders are back in business today and pushing the market lower. Roughly two hours into the trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is trading lower by 3 points, or 0.02%.
What's moving the market today
Given the hiatus, it's no surprise that a number of notable events have queued up to influence the direction of stocks. First and foremost, of course, was Hurricane Sandy, the impetus for the hiatus, which cut a destructive path through the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, causing tens of billions of dollars in damage. As could be expected, shares in Home Depot (NYSE:HD) are the unwitting beneficiaries of the storm. They are presently up 1.5%, making the home improvement retailer the Dow's top stock in intraday trading.
Also today, America's two largest car manufacturers reported earnings for the third quarter. Profits at General Motors (NYSE:GM) fell 13% on a year-over-year basis on the back of slower demand in Europe; the automaker now expects its European operations to lose between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion this year. Alternatively, Ford's (NYSE:F) $1.6 billion in third-quarter profit was up considerably over last year's $468 million operating loss.
According to Ford's chief executive officer, Alan Mulally: "The Ford team delivered a best-ever third quarter, driven by record results in North America and the continued strength of Ford Credit. While we are facing near-term challenges in Europe, we are fully committed to transforming our business [there] by moving decisively to match production to demand, improve revenue through new products and a stronger brand, improve our cost efficiencies and take advantage of opportunities to profitably grow our business."
Shares in both automakers are up significantly in intraday trading.
Finally, shares in tech giant Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) are sharply lower today after the company reported a shake-up at the executive level. According to a statement released by the iPhone maker, it is changing out the executives in charge of its operating system and retail stores. According to my colleague Evan Niu: "Management shake-ups tend to rattle investors, due to transitional uncertainties and fears that there are deeper internal problems. That's particularly true for Apple as one of the most heavily scrutinized companies on the planet, so some near-term weakness won't be a surprise."
The Foolish bottom line
While it's nice that the markets have now reopened, that also means a return of the uncertainty and volatility that goes along with them. One way to decrease the concern associated with the market is to access the best resources you can find on the stocks you own. To access an in-depth Fool report on Apple that fits this description, simply click here now.
John Maxfield has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Ford. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple, Ford, General Motors Company, and The Home Depot. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.