Dubbed the ‘Frankenstorm’, a massive hurricane is rapidly descending onto the east coast of the US, resulting in mandatory evacuations of 375,000 people in low-lying areas of New York City and the shutdown of public transport, including the subway.

Grocery stores have seen people lining up to stock up on emergency supplies, like tinned food, batteries, water and candles. Drug (chemist) stores and liquor retailers are apparently doing a roaring trade.

Hurricane Sandy is expected to collide with two other cold weather systems to create a giant super storm. Waves of up to 3 metres and extremely high winds are expected.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) will be closed tonight our time, and possibly tomorrow night, with the exchange stating that the safety of its employees must be its priority. All NYSE markets will be closed, including electronic trading, not just the floor trading operations. The Nasdaq stock market will also be closed on Monday.

In trading today, the All Ordinaries Index (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) has ended fairly flat, while the S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) rose just 0.1%, but our market is likely to be without leads tomorrow, if the NYSE and Nasdaq are closed as planned.

Insurers with large US operations, such as QBE Insurance (ASX: QBE), will be closely watching the storm’s progress and the damage it causes, and assessing the incoming claims. Other insurers like Insurance Australia Group (ASX: IAG) may also face some claims, as US insurers usually farm out some of their exposure to international insurance companies.

If you only invest in one company this year, make it our “Top Stock for 2012-13”. Operating in two hot markets — one set to double by 2012, the other predicted to grow 5x over the next five years — this stock is a solid growth play that also boasts strong recurring revenue, zero debt, and lots of cash. Get its name and full research case in this brand-new FREE report.

More reading

Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in QBE. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Take Stock is The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Click here now to request your free subscription, whilst it’s still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

OUR #1 DIVIDEND PICK FOR 2016...

Forget BHP and Woolworths. This "dirt cheap" company is growing like gangbusters, and trading on a 5.6% dividend yield, FULLY FRANKED (8% gross). With interest rates set to stay at these low levels for years to come, for hungry investors, including SMSFs, this ASX company could be the "holy grail" of dividend plays for 2016.

Enter your email below to discover the name, code and a full investment analysis in our brand-new FREE report, “The Motley Fool’s Top Dividend Stock for 2016.”

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our https://www.fool.com.au/financial-services-guide">Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.