(MoneyWatch) Given the devastation Hurricane Sandy wrought on the Eastern Seaboard in general and New York's financial district specifically, you might expect stocks would take a beating too, once the markets reopen. What's more, after a market shutdown, traders are often in a selling mood.
But an NYSE spokesman says he expects the market to be open tomorrow, and stocks may not plummet after all. That's based on stock futures showing a slight increase from last Friday's close. They were down Sunday and Monday but rebounded, possibly in response to Sandy's damages not being as catastrophic as feared.
In addition, foreign stock markets can give us an indication of the market's mood. As of the time of this writing, the London FTSE index is up 0.61 percent since Friday while Japan's Nekkei index gave up 0.98 percent. Of course much can change in the next day.
Early estimates are that Sandy could cost $15 to $20 billion in damages. While this is devastating, it represents about 0.1 percent of the total value of the U.S. stock market.
Assuming markets open tomorrow, it may not be a trivial thing, after this unprecedented two-day weather shut-down. The Wall Street Journal reports that the NYSE will busily be working today to ensure trading opens smoothly. Exchanges have developed contingency plans if damage has been done to the exchanges themselves.