NYSE expected to re-open for trading today

THE US stock market was closed for a second straight day yesterday as cash equity trading was cancelled in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Yesterday’s shutdown was the first time weather had resulted in a two-day market shutdown since the Great Blizzard of 1888. Exchanges expect to reopen today.

NYSE Euronext said the New York Stock Exchange would open, although it will switch to fully electronic trading if necessary. Nasdaq OMX’s Nasdaq Stock Market will also be operating today, a source familiar with the

Index futures stopped trading electronically at 9:15am yesterday (Eastern Time) and ended the session largely flat. S&P index futures ended 0.2 per cent higher.

Investors expect heightened volatility when markets do reopen as the two-day closure creates pent-up demand.

Compounding the issue, Sandy arrived in the middle of the corporate earnings season. While some companies, including Pfizer, delayed releasing their results until the storm passed, others released theirs on schedule, including Ford Motor and TD Ameritrade.

With their results out but investors unable to trade on them, those stocks may see particular interest today.

Certain sectors are seen as especially tied to the fallout from the storm, which caused major flooding.

Construction sectors as well as retailers such as Home Depot may see a boost from the eventual rebuilding effort, though airlines, which were forced to cancel thousands of flights, could see sharp falls.

Insurance companies will also be in focus.