The U.S. equity and bond markets were closed again on Tuesday due to what is now post-tropical storm Sandy. Traders will face a potentially volatile market on Wednesday as they look to re-position themselves and price their portfolios in the face of new earnings, Friday’s jobs numbers, and next week’s presidential election.
With Sandy burning itself out, Oil (NYSE:USO) ticked up 0.07 percent to $85.60 per barrel. Precious metals were up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing 0.09 percent to $1,710.20 per ounce and Silver (NYSE:SLV) climbing 0.22 percent to $31.81 per ounce at about when the markets would have closed, if they were open.
Economic loss estimates for hurricane Sandy are coming in between $10 billion and $20 billion, while insured losses are estimated at $5 to $10 billion.
Ford (NYSE:F) released third-quarter 2012 earnings, posting record pre-tax operating profit of $2.2 billion, or $0.40 per share. This makes 13 consecutive quarters of pre-tax profits. The company lost $468 million in Europe on a revenue drop of about $2 billion compared to the quarter last year. General Motors (NYSE:GM) is expected to announce its third-quarter 2012 earnings on Wednesday.
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British Petroleum (NYSE:BP) released strong third-quarter 2012 earnings of $5.4 billion compared to a loss of $1.4 billion in the previous quarter. CEO Bob Dudley expects the supply infrastructure for gas and oil to bounce back quickly. Gas prices should be held mostly in check by temporarily decreased demand.
An October 30 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices press release suggests that the housing market is continuing its long, slow path to recovery. The 10- and 20-City Composites increased by 0.9 percent in August compared to July, marking the seventh straight month of increases.
The 10-City Composite recorded an annual return of 1.3 percent, up 0.6 percent from the rate posted for July. The 20-City Composite recorded an annual return of 2 percent, in increase of 1.2 percent over the rate for the same period.
According to a recent National Retail Federation consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight, a record 170 million people plan to celebrate Halloween. The study finds that 71.5 percent of Americans will get into the Halloween mood, compared to 68.6 percent last year. Consumers are also not afraid to spend more. The average American is estimated to spend $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy, an increase from $72.31 in 2011. Total Halloween spending is expected to reach $8 billion.