(Updated with the latest economic and corporate news.)
In a precautionary move as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the New York area, U.S. stock exchanges won't open today, paving the way for a thinly traded session for the TSX.
While big stock moves in Toronto are unlikely, it should be a weaker start to the trading day. U.S. equity index futures this morning, which will be suspended at 915 a.m. (ET), are pointing lower, as are major commodity prices.
Initially, the New York Stock Exchange had planned to close its floor trading today but keep electronic trading open. But that sparked complaints from customers who said a partial close would be too complicated and still be risky for some commuters. Floor trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, where several commodities are trading included oil and gold, also has been suspended.
Trading in the U.S. is actually spread across 13 exchanges and dozens of private brokerages. All are expected to suspend trading today, and it's possible -- but not yet confirmed -- that they will stay closed on Tuesday depending on how the storm progresses.
Meanwhile, some companies have postponed earnings that were to be released early this week, including power firm Entergy Corp., Pfizer Inc. and Thomson Reuters. Pfizer will now report on Thursday, Thomson Reuters on Friday and Entergy on Nov. 5.
European markets are weaker this morning, with energy and insurance-related companies among the biggest decliners.
All in all, it's a highly unusual start to what should be a busy trading week, which culminates with the all-important U.S. monthly jobs report on Friday.
Now, here's the rundown of what else you need to know before the trading day gets underway.
Futures: Dow -0.6 per cent, S&P 500 -0.6 per cent, Nasdaq -0.8 per cent
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index -0.16 per cent
Shanghai composite index -0.35 per cent
Japan’s Nikkei -0.05 per cent
London’s FTSE 100 -1.96 per cent
France’s CAC 40 -1.08 per cent
Germany’s DAX index -0.61 per cent
WTI (Nymex Dec) -0.76 per cent at $85.62 (U.S.) a barrel
Gold (Comex Dec) +0.04 per cent at $1,712.60 (U.S.) an ounce
Copper (Comex Dec) -1.17 per cent at $3.51 (U.S.) a pound
Canadian dollar down 0.0020, or 0.20 per cent, at $1.0006 (U.S.)
STOCKS AND ECONOMIC INDICATORS TO WATCH:
The U.S. Commerce Department reported person income rose 0.4 per cent in September, matching economists' expectations. Personal spending rose 0.8 per cent, a little higher than the 0.6 per cent that was expected.
Malaysian state oil firm Petronas will renew a bid for gas producer Progress Energy Resources, Petronas sources told Reuters, seeking to assure the Canadian government that the $5.17-billion deal will benefit the country.
The Toronto Star is planing a paywall for early 2013.
Burger King said its third-quarter net income fell 83 per cent as revenue was hurt by the stronger dollar, but adjusted results topped expectations.
Petaquilla Minerals said it board of directors has unanimously rejected the latest takeover bid by Inmet Mining).
Companies scheduled to report earnings include: Anadarko Petroleum Corp.; Canadian Oils Sands Ltd.; Honda Motor Co. Ltd.; Loews Corp.; Mitsubishi Motors Corp.; Yamana Gold Inc.
THIS MORNING'S TOP INVESTING READS ON THE WEB:
Why betting on Hurricane Sandy for your portfolio choices may be unwise.
A contrarian take on fiscal cliff worries.
Why everyone is bailing on commodities.
Prepare for a brutal bond investor slaughter at some point over the next decade.
Why illiquidity in one asset can spread quickly to others.
For instant headlines on breaking economic and corporate news in the premarket, follow Darcy Keith on Twitter at @eyeonequities