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3XSQ: Home improvement, insurance stocks set for volatile day

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 03:34

Oct 31 - Stocks in home improvement chains look set to lead the S&P 500 index higher, while insurers and re-insurers are seen taking big losses.

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Ahead back to business. Trading resumed on Wall Street after hurricanes sandy picked that. Welcome to three Times Square this Wednesday from Reuters world headquarters in New York. Dozens day millions without power billions of dollars in damage. Hurricanes and you beating a path of devastation in its wake. In New York city's subways flooded and bus service limited making it hard to get around the storm surge topping fourteen feet with those in the Appalachian Mountains. Dealing with blizzard conditions. Power restoration could take as much as ten days or more evacuations still underway. Howard -- did today fifteen billion dollars high end of an estimate of insured losses according to air worldwide. The total losses much much higher and not fully known at this point. One of the hardest hit areas the new Jersey Shore where the storm made land fall. Governor Chris Christie continues to survey the destruction. He took a helicopter tour yesterday and said quote I was just here walking this place this summer and the fact that most of it has gone is just incredible. President Obama to join governor in Atlantic City today to get firsthand look at the damage. With the stock markets in the US reopening investors getting their first chance to react to the damage. As you might expect all those purchases of batteries flashlights and water leading to enthusiasm for home improvement chains. Home Depot right now as you can see up about 4% those. About nearly 4% and the insurance companies to stand it. Also performing well today General Motors the auto maker posting a profit excluding items that far exceeded expectations. Revenue also beat estimates losses -- piling up in Europe and could hit nearly two billion dollars this year. But executives hoping to break Eden there by the middle of the decade. Shares closed at 2328 Friday the last day of trading and are now about 2430. -- and not the only auto maker posting a profit in news you may have missed during the storm Ford reported earnings that trounced forecast. Driven by higher prices for its cars and record profit margins in North America. Over at apple a major executive shake up mobile software chief Scott forestall ousted by CEO Tim Cook. After years of friction force refused to sign his name to -- public apology for the iPhone 5 Mac fiasco. Design chief Jonathan -- now overseen Apple's hardware and software design. And Disney ads you block that to its stable of characters making Disney CEO Bob -- our power player of the day Chile as a close second. -- inked a deal to -- George -- Lucas film for four point five billion dollars. When it comes the Star Wars franchise and -- promise of -- news Star Wars films and -- -- shares of all three companies right now Ford is up just over 3%. Apple down about a percent and a half and Walt Disney company -- about half a percent. That is the latest from three times this Wednesday you can follow us on Twitter at Reuters Insider and check out early to -- At Reuters dot com slash TV. I'm Lisa Bernhard is this just.

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3XSQ: Home improvement, insurance stocks set for volatile day

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 03:34