Stocks in weather-sensitive industries reacted as Hurricane Florence moved closer to the U.S. East Coast on Monday.
Shares of roofing and insulation products companies including Beacon Roofing Supply Inc. and Owens Corning rose, while insurers such as Allstate Corp. tumbled.
Florence, the first major hurricane to threaten the eastern United States this year, was forecast to hit the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina on Thursday. North Carolina ordered residents to evacuate the state’s Outer Banks barrier islands, and the governors of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina declared states of emergency.
The Atlantic hurricane season, which typically runs from June to November, caused more than US$250-billion worth of damage in the United States in 2017. But several industries benefited. Car rental and hotel companies saw an influx of customers, while freight companies commanded higher prices as capacity tightened due to increased demand for supplies in areas struck by hurricanes.
Here is a summary of how shares are performing as Hurricane Florence approaches.
Hurricane Florence had a mixed effect on building products companies. Shares of roofing and insulation companies climbed, while those of cement companies fell.
On Monday, shares of Beacon Roofing rose 8.2 per cent, their biggest one-day percentage jump in more than a year. Owens Corning shares rose 3.7 per cent and were the top gainers on the PHLX Housing Index.
Shares of generator maker Generac Holdings Inc. also touched a four-year high and were last up 5.6 per cent.
But Summit Materials Inc. shares fell 8.1 per cent after the cement and concrete supplier warned of adverse weather, including Hurricane Florence, hurting performance in several of its markets. The shares of peer companies Martin Marietta Materials Inc., Vulcan Materials Co. and Eagle Materials Inc. also declined between 2 per cent and 3.5 per cent.
Shares of Lowe’s Cos. Inc. and Home Depot Inc. hit record highs on Monday. Lowe’s shares were last trading 2.2 per cent higher, while Home Depot shares were up 2.6 per cent.
During the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Home Depot shares rose 16.3 per cent. But Lowe’s shares only rose 4.7 per cent during that period, lagging the S&P 500, as the chain struggled to compete with Home Depot.
Allstate shares fell 1.9 per cent on Monday. The insurer had a 10.5-per-cent market share in South Carolina and a 6.6-per-cent market share in North Carolina, according to Sandler O’Neill.
Shares of Travelers Cos. Inc., Progressive Corp. and American International Group Inc. declined between 1 per cent and 2 per cent.
Shares of Hertz Global Holdings Inc. and Avis Budget Group Inc. surged during much of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season on investors’ anticipation of increased demand. Hertz shares climbed 156.2 per cent between June and early November, while Avis shares rose 80.1 per cent.
On Monday, Hertz shares rose 4.4 per cent and Avis shares added 2.7 per cent.
In 2017 between June 1 and Dec. 1, 2017, shares of USA Truck Inc. soared 172.9 per cent, while shares of XPO Logistics Inc. and Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. climbed more than 40 per cent. J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. shares rose 26.7 per cent over the same period.
On Monday, XPO Logistics shares rose 5.4 per cent. USA Truck shares advanced 3.8 per cent, J.B. Hunt gained 3.7 per cent and Old Dominion Freight Line added 1.6 per cent.
Shares of hotel operators were little changed on Monday. They had gained during the 2017 hurricane season as demand from guests displaced by hurricanes outweighed the hit from storm damage.
From June 1 to Dec. 1, shares of Hyatt Hotels Corp. jumped 25.8 per cent. Shares of Marriott International Inc., Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Choice Hotels International Inc. rose up to 18.9 per cent.