Weather Tosses Stocks

Article excerpt

Hurricane Sandy shut down Wall Street, the first time since 1888 that the exchanges have been closed for two consecutive days due to weather.

A slew of positive data jolted markets Thursday, giving stocks their best day since mid-September. Consumer confidence rose to a four-year high, to a reading of 72.2 in October, from 68.4 in September, the highest since February 2008. The Conference Board cited improvements in the labor market. October jobs creation was stronger than expected. The Commerce Department reported that factory orders rose 4.8 percent in September, after falling the month before. But stocks reversed course on Friday as investors weighed the effects of the storm.

"The information coming out from the economic impact of Sandy is a negative," said Rob Lutts, president of Cabot Money Management. "I think the markets are trying to digest that and understand that, so there is a little bit of uncertainty."

The Journal Record Index slumped 32.07 points, or 2.35 percent, and closed 1,330.59. Declining issues dominated advancing issues by a 25 to 10.

Williams Cos. was off $1.75, or 5.03 percent, after results of third-quarter earnings. Williams said it earned $155 million, or 25 cents per share, down from $272 million, or 76 cents per share, in the previous third quarter. …


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