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Wall Street expected to be busy after Sandy

October 30, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
For the past two days, superstorm sandy forced the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq to close, leaving investors to wonder about their investments.

On Wednesday, the market was expected to be active with a lot of sales volume as the market tries to catch up. But what about prices?

Alan Whitman, managing director with Morgan Stanley in Pasadena, said it's too early to tell.

If history tells us anything, the aftermath of a major storm can be positive for the stock market. Of the 13 worst hurricanes in U.S history, we saw stocks gain about 6 percent in the six months afterward. Only Ike in 2008 and Hugo in 1989 saw prices drop in the markets. That's why Whitman suggests investors sit tight for the time being.

"Don't let emotions ever drive the decisions that you make," he said. "You really need to take a look at the fundamentals of things. Be sure to always consult with your advisers. That's so crucial."

As far as the economy is concerned, Sandy's impact may actually improve things somewhat. Rebuilding means construction jobs will need equipment and supplies, which in turn means home improvement stores should see more business.

The power outages there could impact us here. There have been reports that some credit card transactions have been delayed because some terminals are on the east coast where electricity is out. Some ATMs have been down for the same reason.

Two sectors of the stock market that might get hit by the superstorm are insurance companies, as they figure out the amount of the claims which will be in the billions, and the airlines, which had thousands of flights canceled the past two days and possibly longer.


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