Wall St gives way to might of Sandy


WALL STREET is bracing itself for higher volatility when trading resumes later this week as investors consider the impact of Hurricane Sandy in addition to a key jobs report and the upcoming US presidential elections.

US equity and options markets were closed yesterday and the shutdown extended to today. It was unclear whether stock markets would resume trading tomorrow.

The closure comes after the broad measure of US stocks, the SP 500, fell 1.5 per cent last week and Wall Street’s “fear gauge”, the CBOE’s Vix index, hit its highest level since early August.

The sell-off took place as some of the world’s largest corporations, including Amazon, Caterpillar, and DuPont, reported lacklustre quarterly results. Even so, stocks have risen 12.3 per cent so far this year.

Analysts said the hurricane – set to make landfall in the east coast of the US late yesterday – added greater uncertainty to what was already a complicated landscape for stocks. The Bureau of Labour Statistics said the release of the critical US non-farm payroll data, due on Friday, could be reviewed for a possible delay. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012