US Markets Rebound After Mother Natures
After a two-day shutdown of the worlds largest financial markets due to
devastation from Hurricane Sandy - the first two-day shuttering of the Exchanges
since the 19th century at the hands of Mother Nature - the U.S. Stock Exchanges
opened Wednesday, for business with the world once again. "We plan to open
business as usual, all systems and traders good to go," emailed Richard
Adamonis, a spokesman for the New York Stock Exchange. NYSE Euronext
headquarters reside in one of the areas flooded by Hurricane Sandy with more
than 13-foot sea surge. Mayor Michael Bloomberg rang the opening bell at the
NYSE on Wednesday as the Exchange moved forward, running on generator backup
since no power was available in the area. Trading volume was light on Wall
Street today, as was expected, since many traders were unable to make their way
to the trading floor or unable to access electronic trading due to continued,
wide-spread power outages. Limited subway service is expected to resume
Thursday, per Mayor Bloomberg. "There is extensive flooding in under-river
subways,” said Mayor Bloomberg, who estimated it would take three to four days
to get mass transit up and running, as well as a similar time frame to restore
power to the roughly 750,000 utility customers without power. Amtrak reportedly
plans to restart modified service in the Northeast on Wednesday, but New York’s
Penn Station remained closed due to flooding. Particularly in the Rockaway's, a
peninsula of Long Island in Queens, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said
Wednesday that search operations continued for storm victims. Mayor Bloomberg
said there are 643,000 households in the city without power and 6,300 people
remain in evacuation shelters. The city is not yet ready to lift evacuation
orders from low-lying parts of its five boroughs. The city's public schools will
remain closed to students for the rest of the week. The Greenwich Village
Halloween parade will be postponed until next week with the day yet to be
determined, the mayor said. Additionally, the National Basketball Association
has postponed Thursday night's opening game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn,
per Mayor Bloomberg, "I was personally going to take my daughters, but the
bottom line is there is not a lot of mass transit."
While the U.S. Exchanges began trading again to prove our countries resilience,
heavy hearts not only of those directly impacted by the wrath of Sandy but also,
from coast to coast and worldwide seemed almost overwhelming for the unfortunate
residents caught up in the wrath of Mother Nature. Residents in New Jersey were
hit hardest with such intense damage from Sandy, the coastline along the
Atlantic Ocean, may have been changed. Hundreds of thousands of residents remain
without power as well as the loss of homes in incredible numbers. Additional
assistance for the storm ravaged areas was received from the U.S. National Guard
to help stranded victims. It will take days and weeks to fully access the
extensive damage caused from the storm as Eastern Seaboard residents face the
grim task of yet another unwelcomed challenge, to their lives.
The Treasury Department reported on Wednesday that it expects to reach the debt
limit near the end of the year. The department said, with extraordinary
measures, the government will be able to meet its obligations until early in
2013. After the presidential election, increasing the debt ceiling is yet
another challenge Congress faces. The politics of raising the limit may
complicate negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff, tax hikes and spending
cuts set to take place at the start of 2013. Treasury said it expects the first
floating-rate auction to be at least one year away and no decision has been made
about allowing negative rates at bill auctions. Treasury announced Wednesday
they would sell $72 billion in notes and bonds next week, in its quarterly
refunding auctions which have been held steady two years.
The U.S. Labor Department reported on Wednesday, the employment cost index rose
0.4% during Q3 which was slightly below the increase of 0.5% in Q2. The ECI
measures the price of U.S. labor and is a closely followed gauge that reflects
how much companies, governments or nonprofit institutions are paying their
employees in wages and benefits. Over the past 12 months, employment costs have
risen 2.0%, up from 1.7% in the prior three-month period. Wages - which account
for 70% of employment costs - rose 0.3% during Q3, while benefits rose 0.8%.
Year-on-year, wages were up 1.7%, compared with a 1.6% gain in the same period
last year. Benefits registered a 2.6% year-on-year increase, down from a 3.2%
gain in the same period last year.
The Chicago PMI business barometer moved slightly higher during October to 49.9%
from 49.7% in September but, remained below the key 50% mark for the second
consecutive month. The new-orders index rose to 50.6% from 47.4%, but the
production gauge fell to 51.8% from 55.4% and the inventories component dropped
to 49.6% from 51.1%. The employment index fell to a 33-month low of 50.3%.
Prices paid component fell to 59.3% from 63.2%.
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Oct 31, 2012