Hurricane Sandy is gaining speed and marching towards the New Jersey coast. Experts predict billions of dollars in property damage but the financial impacts of Sandy don’t stop there.
Hurricane Sandy may be a $20 billion, or more, storm when all is said in done. This projection was made early Monday and includes property losses as well as lost business revenues. The total losses may even decrease the nation’s fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP).
"The big story this morning is how much stuff is shut down," said Mark Vitner, senior economist with Wells Fargo Securities. "Business interruption is the biggest impact, at least until we see what happens in terms of property damage."
Originally, the New York Stock Exchange planned to open today for electronic trading but as experts began to realize the possible impacts of Hurricane Sandy, the decision was made to completely close the markets. The closure has expanded to tomorrow with hopes that the markets will reopen on Wednesday for end-of-the month trading.
Consumers not in the direct path of the storm may experience the financial side effects of the storm if a predicted short-term spike in gas prices comes to fruition. The good news, at least as far as gas prices are concerned, is that this will only be a temporary jump in prices and the overall trend for November indicates lower prices are in our future.
Several major companies are delaying their earnings reports due to Hurricane Sandy and the closed markets. Companies postponing their results include Entergy, Office Depot, Pfizer and Sirius XM Radio