Markets were down today:
▼ Dow: -1.05 percent
▼ Nasdaq: -1.26 percent
▼ S&P: -0.94 percent
▼ Gold: -2.09 percent to $1,677.51 an ounce
▼ Silver: -4.07 percent to settle at $30.85
▼ Oil: -2.21 percent
Markets were down today because:
Waterlogged from Superstorm Sandy and unmoved by October’s less-than-robust jobs report, U.S. stocks fell sharply Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 139 points as details about the storm's costs began to trickle out.
Verizon Communications, whose downtown Manhattan facilities are still without power, said the storm would have a "significant" effect on its fourth-quarter earnings. Verizon said it could not yet estimate the cost of the storm, which downed cell towers across the region. Its stock fell 62 cents to $44.52.
Insurers, the group that will feel the storm's effects most acutely, plunged en masse as analysts warned that the storm will eat into their income.
The chairman of Hartford, Liam McGee, told investors on a conference call that the storm's costs are just beginning to come into focus. "It's much too early for us to provide data with any level of certainty," McGee said. He said it wasn't until Thursday that adjustors were able to view the damage to Long Island, one of the hardest-hit areas.
Hartford fell 66 cents, or 3 percent, to $21.26. Allstate dropped 49 cents to $38.56. American International Group Inc. plunged $2.52, or 7 percent, to $32.68. Genworth Financial Inc. dropped 16 cents, or 3 percent, to $6.06.
After a day of steady selling, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 139.46 points, or 1.1 percent, at 13,093.16. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 13.39, or 0.9 percent, at 1,414.20. The Nasdaq composite index lost 37.93 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,982.13.
European stocks rose slightly this morning and U.S. stocks were boosted somewhat by October's jobs report. The Dow gained as much as 57 points in the first half-hour of trading -- but then the indexes commenced a steady slide after that.
All ten categories in the S&P 500 were lower by the end of the day. Consumer discretionary stocks had the narrowest loss.
Internet travel sites priceline.com and TripAdvisor Inc. were among the S&P 500's top gainers. The companies surprised investors with better-than-expected third-quarter earnings after the market closed on Thursday. TripAdvisor rose $5.71, or 19 percent, to $35.12. Priceline added $48.64, or 8 percent, to $634.74.
Starbucks rounded out the S&P 500's top three gainers, adding $4.22, or 9 percent, to $50.84. The ubiquitous coffee vendor said late Thursday that global revenue at cafes open at least a year rose 6 percent during its fiscal fourth quarter, which runs from July through September.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.