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.
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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.
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