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Beaches along the Atlantic coast took a beating over the weekend from Hurricane Irene, which caused heavy damage to some popular seaside tourist towns while sparing others the worst of its powerful wind and waves.
The people of Mineral, Va., were starting to whether Mother Nature had it in for them.
Damage from Irene appears to be less than feared, a bit of reassuring news for a fragile economy.
From North Carolina to Pennsylvania, Hurricane Irene appeared to have fallen short of the doomsday predictions. But with rivers still rising, and roads impassable because of high water and fallen trees, it could be days before the full extent of the damage is known.
Hurricane Irene and the closure of at least 1,000 theater locations along the East Coast is expected to put a dent in this weekend's domestic box office.
Stocks finished higher in a volatile session Friday after after Bernanke's speech raised hopes that the Fed may consider further stimulus measures to boost the economy during an extended policy meeting next month.
With more than 50 million people potentially in Hurricane Irene's path, residents along the US east coast stocked up on food and water and worked to secure homes, vehicles and boats.
Futures extended their losses Friday following a weaker-than-expected second quarter GDP report and as investors cautiously waited for Bernanke's speech at a banking conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Bernanke is unlikely to announce a third round of quantitative easing in his Jackson Hole speech this afternoon, Tony Fratto, the director of Hamilton Place Strategies, a public policy research firm, told CNBC. "If investors are betting on a Bernanke put, they are setting themselves up for a disappointment. Bernanke hinted at QE3 last year, but I don't think we are going to see that kind of activity today," Fratto said.
"I wouldn't be surprised to see some selling today based on no news [about QE3 from Jackson Hole], but I don't think it will be a big sell-off," Charlie Parker, investment editor at Citywire, told CNBC.
Stocks closed near session lows Thursday, reversing three days of gains, as investors remained cautious ahead of Bernanke's Jackson Hole speech on Friday.
Futures turned positive Thursday, as Berkshire Hathaway said it will invest $5 billion in Bank of America. Futures had been under pressure all morning after weekly jobless claims gained more than expected and following news that Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced his resignment.
"Apple if anything is underpriced. I think the stock is a buy right now," Steve Forbes, the editor of Forbes magazine, told CNBC.
Stocks rallied strongly in the final hour Wednesday, logging a three-day gain, after hovering near the flat line for most of the session, but investors remained cautious ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's Jackson Hole speech at the end of week.
Market turmoil in Europe and the U.S. may have made financial institutions in Asia—particularly China—even more attractive sources of credit for Latin American banks.
A few companies kept their development teams intact in the recession, and are now building new facilities and expanding their operations. And as lending loosens, they say, they are poised to benefit from the housing needs of America’s aging population.
Futures shaved earlier losses Wednesday after durable goods orders jumped much more than expected in July, but still remained under pressure after Moody’s downgraded Japan’s economy by one notch on concerns over the size of the country’s budget deficit.
Stocks closed near session highs Tuesday, with the Dow posting its biggest gain in almost two weeks, despite a 5.8-magnitude earthquake in Virginia that shook parts of the U.S. East Coast and after investors shrugged off a handful of disappointing economic news.
Futures were higher Tuesday, boosted by better-than-expected manufacturing data in Germany and China, and ahead of a handful of reprots in the U.S.
"I think longer-term we're still in a stable range, or even a decline on economic trends, with potentially slowing economic growth in the United States, a lack of direction in fiscal policy, and the issues in Europe that are still unresolved," Michael Cuggino, president of Permanent Portfolio Funds, told CNBC.