Stocks in the housing and construction industries rose in the market today as they will likely be the most direct beneficiaries of the rebuilding effort.
After a two-day hiatus from trading, the major US indices opened and finished mixed Wednesday. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC)slumped to small losses while the S&P (INDEXSP:.INX) eked out a small gain. Stocks were not affected this morning by the malaise that swept the Northeast in the aftermath of the historic Superstorm Sandy. The indices opened higher this morning but faded during the session.
South of 40th Street in Manhattan, residents and businesses are still predominantly without power, which will likely remain the case through the weekend. The Financial District of Manhattan is still experiencing flooding (T3Live's offices are located near the Southern tip of Manhattan, and will not be operational for several days as water is pumped out and power is restored.) Mass transportation systems have yet to resume service. Damage is still being assessed along the New Jersey coast, which faces an unprecedented rebuilding effort. While the economic impact of the storm could stretch into the tens of billions, natural disasters rarely have a lasting impact on the economy, and the market today was unfazed.
Stocks in the housing and construction industries rose in the market today as they will likely be the most direct beneficiaries of the rebuilding effort. Home Depot (NYSE:HD) climbed 2.23% on the day.
Apart from the storm, car companies Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) rose 8.24% and 9.54%, respectively, after topping Wall Street earnings estimates while the market was closed.
Another big winner on the day was Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), which spiked 13.88% after a filing disclosed that famed investor Carl Icahn had taken a large stake in the struggling company.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares were among the most notable losers on the day, dropping 3.79% after a further lockup of IPO shares expired, leading early investors to sell their shares into the open market.