Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Shuts Down Equity Markets

It took the forces of nature to do what the SEC, government or any other "higher" power couldn't: shut down Wall Street.

Hurricane Sandy, a category 1 hurricane due to make landfall around Atlantic City New Jersey around 6:00 pm EDT, caused the NYSE and NASDAQ to shut down on Monday without even opening. Futures closed at 9:15 am EDT, with the major indices showing moderate, though not devastating, losses.

In New York, Mayor Bloomberg ordered the closure of all subway systems, and evacuated roughly 375,000 residents from lower Manhattan.

Though the storm did not reach landfall until markets would have already closed, high winds and storm surge were expected to cause damage in lower Manhattan, while most of the Eastern seaboard was inundated throughout the day with high surf and damaging winds.

Later in the day, the exchanges decided to remain closed on Tuesday. It is the first time since 1888 that stock markets were closed due to weather for more than one day in succession.

Also in question are various corporate earnings reports. Many which were due out on Monday have been rescheduled for release and there is a rumor circulating that Friday's non-farm payroll report for October would also be delayed. It is the final jobs report before the election next Tuesday.

Other exchanges, for bonds, Forex and commodities were open or closed or offered limited sessions and some plan to open on Tuesday while others will not. The situation is rather - pardon the pun - fluid.

WTI crude oil: 85.54, -0.74
Gold: 1,708.70, -3.20
Silver: 31.74, -0.291

No comments: