Hurricane Sandy, strengthening rapidly after crossing the warm Caribbean Sea, slammed into southeastern Cuba early Thursday with 110 mph winds that cut power, damaged homes and blew over trees across the city of Santiago de Cuba.
The storm has a 70 percent chance of smacking the Northeast and mid-Atlantic next week with gale-force winds, flooding, heavy rain and maybe even snow, forecasters said adding, it has all the earmarks of a billion-dollar storm.
(Read More: Strengthening Hurricane Sandy Slams into Cuba)
For investors, understanding how the weather (both actual and predicted) may affect sales and earnings provides key insights into how a business will "weather" an earnings period or same store sales expectation.
While skeptical investors often sneer at the "weather excuse" whenever retailers mention weather as a cause of missed expectations, the reality is the weather does have a significant (and measurable) influence on the timing of sales of seasonal items.
This is particularly true during the fall and spring transition months.
For Hurricane Sandy, the computer models have become more steadfast in their predictions of a large, perhaps historic storm strike in the heart of the U.S. Northeast population center.