US markets closed Tuesday
US markets will be closed for the second day in a row on Tuesday due to Hurricane Sandy. According to USA Today, this is the first time the markets have been closed for two days straight since 1888, when a blizzard hit New York City leaving 40 foot drifts of snow. Markets are expected to re-open on Wednesday.
Nuclear plant declares “alert” after hurricane storm surge
Exelon Corp declared an alert at its New Jersey Oyster Creek nuclear power plant due to a record storm surge, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission indicated. According to Reuters, further increases in water levels could force the country’s oldest working plant to use emergency water supplies to cool uranium levels. Exelon said there is no danger to the public.
Ford falls to bottom of reliability survey while Toyota re-emerges
Ford fell to the bottom of an annual survey of vehicle reliability due primarily to flaws in its touch screen navigation. CNBC reports that in the Consumer Reports survey released on Monday, Ford fell seven spots to 27th out of 28 spots. Just two years ago, Ford was in the top 10. Toyota’s Scion was ranked as the most reliable. General Motors Cadillac was the highest-ranking US brand. The top seven brands were all Japanese cars.
Top Executives Leave Apple
CNBCis reporting that two top executives are leaving Apple. The head of its store operations is leaving after just six months on the job and the head of its iPhone software development is leaving next year. Apple did not indicate why each is leaving but both have made bad decisions this year. Browett, head of the stores, cut staff hours, a move the company reversed. Forstall’s division, the iPhone software group, launched the software update that replaced Google Maps with Apple’s poorly operating map technology.
Insurance Industry estimates $10 billion of losses due to Sandy
Hurricane Sandy is expected to become one of the top 10 most expensive hurricanes in US history, according to the Wall Street Journal. Disaster modeling company, Eqecat, predicts that the storm will cost the US insurance industry $5 to $10 billion. Currently, Hurricane Charley, which caused an $8.8 billion in insured losses in Florida and the Carolinas in 2004, is the most expensive hurricane. Wall Street analysts believe that insurers will be able to easily absorb the losses because, until now, the 2012 hurricane season was uneventful.
Labor Department “working hard” to ensure timely jobs report release
After indicating early on Monday that it would assess how to handle data releases this week after the storm, the Labor Department now indicates that it is “working hard” to ensure the timely release of the October jobs report on Friday. Failure to release the report immediately before the election would create quite a stir due to the political implications of the report. The Wall Street Journal indicates that the last time the reports were not released on a timely basis was in 1996 when the government was shut down for an extended period of time. Other late releases have occurred only upon a holiday.
Despite storm, High Court hears cases
The Supreme Court showed up for work on Monday, despite the fact that the rest of the government was shut down. According to the Washington Post, all of the Justices were able to hear two cases on Monday, despite the fact that four of the Justices are in their 70s. Additionally, retired justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and the Supreme Court of Japan’s Chief Justice also sat in on Monday’s hearings. Arguments for Tuesday, however, have been postponed until Thursday, due to some decorative scrim that is hanging loose from the building.
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.