Stocks mixed as trading, earnings reports resume

NEW YORK: The decision to postpone earnings reports because of Hurricane Sandy did not appear to have a direct impact on companies' stock prices as the market reopened Wednesday.

NEW YORK: The decision to postpone earnings reports because of Hurricane Sandy did not appear to have a direct impact on companies' stock prices as the market reopened Wednesday

Pfizer, Thomson Reuters, McGraw-Hill, Entergy Corp, Exelon, and Avon were among the companies that delayed their third-quarter earnings reports as Hurricane Sandy battered the East Coast. On Wednesday, when the stock market reopened after an unprecedented two-day shutdown for weather, shares of Pfizer, Thomson Reuters, and McGraw-Hill were down. However, Entergy Corp's, Exelon's, and Avon's stock prices rose slightly as trading resumed. 

Trading of companies that went ahead with earnings reports during the storm was also mixed. Shares fell for MetroPCS, Western Union, Sirius XM Radio, and Fresh Del Monte Produce, but stock prices rose for Ford, Electronic Arts, Kodak, and biotechnology company Acorda Therapeutics. 

IR executives have predicted a volatile trading period for the rest of this week as Friday's US unemployment report looms, the presidential election approaches, and many companies fall short of earnings expectations. Hurricane Sandy added to the unpredictability, with analysts predicting overreaction and higher-than-normal volume due to pent-up trading demand. 

Yet some companies stood to benefit from the storm. Home Depot and Lowe's, two retailers linked to costly repairs, saw increases in their stock prices on Wednesday. Shares of Generac, a company that designs and manufactures generators, rose 17.4% Wednesday morning. 

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