U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday in the first day of trading since last Friday, when the New York Stock Exchange said it would close in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 62 points or 0.5 per cent, to 13,169. The broader S&P 500 rose 6 points or 0.4 per cent, to 1,418. In Canada, where trading was not interrupted by the devastating storm that hit the east coast on Monday, the S&P/TSX composite index rose 66 points or 0.5 per cent, to 12,443.
The healthy start to the trading day was not a surprise. Many economists had pointed out that Hurricane Sandy, while terribly destructive, was not likely to make a big dent in the U.S. economy beyond some short-term disturbances.
Still, the storm was on the minds of investors in early trading. Home Depot rose 3.3 per cent as investors bet that the home improvement retailer will get a lot of business from people doing repair-jobs on their houses. Rival Lowes Companies rose 2.5 per cent.
Quanta Services, which installs power networks, rose 8 per cent – but the gain also coincided with its quarterly results on Wednesday in which revenues rose to $1.7-billion (U.S.) from $1.25-billion last year. Earnings rose to $96.4-million from $52-million.
Ford Motor Co. rose 4.1 per cent. The automaker reported better-than-expected earnings when markets were closed.
Insurers were also in focus, but there weren’t many big moves. Travelers Companies fell 1.2 per cent. In Canada, Manulife Financial Corp. rose 1.1 per cent.