Superstorm Sandy Slams the East Coast

October 30, 2012 12:58 AM

What Traders are Talking About:

* Sandy wreaking havoc along East Coast. Superstorm Sandy made landfall Monday evening and continues to dump heavy rains and produce high winds along the East Coast, causing much damage in her aftermath. Because of Sandy, the U.S. stock market is closed again today, as is the bond market. Electronic trading of energies and metals will take place as normal again today. There's hope the U.S. financial markets will resume trading Wednesday, at least electronically.

The long and short of it: The liquidation pressure that weighed on many commodities Monday ceased in many cases overnight. Traders are trying to return their attention market fundamentals, although there's still some uncertainty about how the stock market will react when it resumes trading.

* Impacts of Sandy could be numerous. Damage assessments from Superstorm Sandy won't be complete for days and likely weeks, but this storm is expected to end up as one of the costliest ever. For an economy that's struggling to grow, that's not a positive. Aside from personal loss, that's the primary impact of Sandy. But the storm could also influence the Nov. 6 presidential election as President Obama's leadership in crisis will be closely scrutinized. As for commodities, the impact will be varied. This storm will have little direct impact for grains. The greater impact will be to energies and meats as demand for both will be limited until things return to "normal" along the East Coast.

The long and short of it: Personal loss and the likely hit to the economy are the primary impacts of Sandy, although a true gauge of this will take time to discover.

* Data flow impacted. Superstorm Sandy is delaying the release of some USDA data this week. Weekly crop progress data that's typically released Monday afternoon is now scheduled for Wednesday. There has been no word yet on whether weekly export sales data that's usually released on Thursday morning will be on time or delayed until Friday morning. As of now, the Labor Department plans to release its monthly employment data as scheduled Friday morning. The jobs report is seen as the last key economic data the public will have before heading to the voting booth Nov. 6.

The long and short of it: While Washington D.C. was impacted by Sandy, the worst of the damage from the storm occurred further north along the East Coast. That should allow for data to be released in a relatively timely manner once staffers can safely return to work.



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