Hurricane Sandy's extensive damage to the economy

(CBS News) NEW YORK - The financial markets were closed in New York City Monday, and they'll be closed again tomorrow.

It's the first time in 27 years weather has forced a shutdown of the world's financial capital.

Full Coverage: Hurricane Sandy

Wall Street went silent as Sandy approached. With the New York Stock Exchange shuttered, a third of all the world's equities trading was shut down. It's the first time weather has caused a two-day closure since 1888.

Preliminary estimates say Sandy could land an expensive punch on the us economy, costing $20 billion dollars -- starting with gasoline prices.

Chuck Watson, director of research for Kinetic Analysis.
Chuck Watson, director of research for Kinetic Analysis.
CBS News

"We're pretty worried about the oil sector," said Chuck Watson, director of research for Kinetic Analysis. "There's close a million barrels per day of production that's right in the really prime target area for this storm."

Watson says that includes six refineries that account for nearly 7 percent of the country's production capacity.

"If those refineries are down for a week, two weeks, especially three or four weeks because of water damage, then it puts a real crimp in gas supplies in the northeast," he said.

Sandy's wrath is also expected to leave tens of thousands of small businesses without power for days, if not weeks. Even before the storm arrived, the famous Fifth Avenue department store, Bergdorf Goodman, was boarded up. So was a Dairy Queen, losing business they may never be able to get back and costing hourly workers days of lost wages.

But big storms have their winners too. The path of destruction they create are followed by rebuilding boom that provide construction jobs and stimulate the economy.

But usually there are more losers than winners, and the economic disruptions are extensive. The Department of Laborraised the possibility it may considering postponing the release of the latest unemployment due out on Friday.

  • Anthony Mason

    CBS News senior business and economics correspondent; Co-host, "CBS This Morning: Saturday"

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