US Markets Closed Today Due to Hurricane Sandy
US stock and options markets will be closed on Monday and possibly Tuesday, according to CNBC. Market participants and regulators voiced concerns regarding the safety of employees and the integrity of the markets. Originally the New York Stock Exchange had planned to keep its electronic trading open but shifted course on Sunday night and decided there will be no trading. The NASDAQ is also closed. The CME will trade futures electronically until 9:15 AM and then close. The Chicago Board of Options Exchange will also close due to lack of liquidity in the markets. It appears that the same situation may occur on Tuesday.
Financial firms prepare for monster storm
Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit the East coast on Monday and financial firms are planning to shutter offices in Lower Manhattan and prepare locations outside the city. According to the Wall Street Journal, American Express, JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup all plan to close offices in New York. Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo emphasized the need for caution and to contact managers for updates. It is estimated that many employees will work from home. Most companies continue to monitor the situation.
Hurricane stocks to watch
USA Today reports that hurricanes aren’t just weather events, they are also financial events. As a result, many stocks are moved by the potential impact. Home improvement retailers, makers of gasoline powered generators and similar stocks will benefit. In contrast, stocks of property/casualty insurers will take a hit due to the unknown amount of claims they may have to pay out. These are all nicknamed “Hurricane stocks”. Experts indicate there is a pre-storm spending spree benefiting grocery stores and restaurants along with the home improvement stores. Once the storm is over, individuals return to these stores to re-stock and to buy the materials needed for repairs.
US money market funds returning to European investments
In a sign that they might believe the European crisis has stabilized, US money market funds have increased their exposure to European banks. The Financial Times reports that exposure to eurozone banks by US money market funds was 16 percent higher at the end of September than a month earlier. This was the third consecutive monthly increase. These funds provide significant funding for European banks and belief is the comments by the European Central Bank and actions taken to stabilize the banking sector have gained the confidence of fund managers. Even after the latest increase, eurozone banks still account for less than 11 percent of all money market fund holdings, compared to the peak of 30 percent in May 2011.
UBS to cut 10,000 jobs
UBS will eliminate 15 lines of business and a third or more of the jobs at its investment banking division in order to restore the business to health, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. The board is scheduled to meet on Monday to review the plan which will cut 10,000 employees from the bank’s total headcount over the next three to five years. The majority of cuts will be within the investment bank which employed just over 16,000 individuals at the end of June. UBS’ new strategy to return to financial health is more dramatic than many of its competitors and will lead the bank to focusing on equities and business lines that are not capital intensive.
EU/IMF leaders refuse to concede on Greek reforms
One of the smaller Greek parties has refused to concede on a law that requires all employees to receive a 10 percent salary hike when they marry. This undermines the whole Greek government coalition that has been formed since the election. But according to Reuters, the IMF and EU insist that this law be limited to unionized employees only in order for the Greeks to receive the next tranche of economic relief. Without the aid, Greece will run out of cash in mid-November. Fear is that the fragile Greek government will then be unable to implement the agreed upon 13.5 billion tax measures and spending cuts already agreed upon should the issue remain unresolved.
Most Expensive NBA tickets
CNBC reports that overall ticket prices for NBA events are cheaper this year because there are more games. (Last year the NBA had a lockout.) So what team has the most expensive ticket prices? The most expensive prices this year are $888 to watch the New York Knicks play the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center on November 1st. Hope the storm has passed! The second most expensive game isn’t until January 17th when you can watch the Miami Heat play the Los Angeles Lakers for a mere $712 at the Staples Center.
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.