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The Dow Now: Home Depot Gets Hurricane Sandy Lift

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Microsoft was also up on the day.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL After a historic two-day shutdown of the US stock market, equities were expected to swing wildly due to pent up demand. However, that did not turn out to be the case, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) down 0.07% to 13,097.61
points as of 11:49 a.m. EDT, after a slight uptick in early trading.

"Liquidity remains very light in equities as there are a lot of empty seats on the Street," Dave Lutz, a Baltimore-based trader with Stifel Nicolaus, told Reuters.

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) was the leading Dow gainer in midday trading, surging 2.47% to $61.52. Unsurprisingly, investors believe that the home improvement retailer will be one of the companies to benefit from Hurricane Sandy. After the havoc wreaked by Sandy, homeowners are likely to turn to Home Depot for their repair and redecorating needs.

Another strong performer was Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which jumped 1.45% to $28.62 on the heels of the debut of its Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 operating system. According to CEO Steve Ballmer, Microsoft has already sold 4 million Windows 8 upgrades to consumers since its introduction last Friday.

Disney (NYSE:DIS) fell 2.02% to $49.0. Investors evidently are not entirely sure of the entertainment giant's move to acquire Lucasfilm, home of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movie franchises, for $4.05 billion in cash and stock. Disney said three more Star Wars movies will be released, with the first coming in 2015. Diehard Star Wars fans have mixed reactions to the news, with some thinking that the upcoming movies will cheapen the brand, while others feel nothing will be worse than the prequel trilogy.

Another leading decliner was Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), which retreated 1.73% to $24.99, as investors prepared for the company's third-quarter earnings release, which was rescheduled for Thursday after the hurricane disrupted the original release date of Tuesday. Analysts predict a drop of about 15% for both year-on-year revenue and earnings per share.

Twitter: @sterlingwong
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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