Hurricane Sandy: Lots of Talk, Not Stock Trading
Been asking around about possible stock plays on Hurricane Sandy, and so far I do not see big bets being placed — yet. But there are ideas floating around.
(Read more: East Coast of US Braces For 'Frankenstorm')
While this seems reminiscent of Hurricane Irene, which brought a lot of rain to the East Coast in August 2011, Irene was not a hurricane when it made landfall and only dumped a modest amount of rain (about two inches) on Manhattan. It was a relatively mild event for the city, and even for insurers.
Sandy, potentially, could be more serious, particularly for insurers.
Companies with exposure here include Hartford , Travelers , Chubb . The caveat: flooding is not covered by homeowner insurance policies.
Anything else? The obvious play is roofing repair, and here I have heard names like Owens Corning and Beacon Roofing Supply bandied about. Other companies that sell waterproofing and roofing systems include RPM International and WR Grace .
I have heard some talk about gasoline refiners n the path of the storm (Philadelphia/Delaware/New Jersey) possibly being shut for several days. However, most of these refineries are privately owned.
(Read more: With Giant Storm on the Way, NY Begins to Prep)
Power failures (widespread with Irene) might impact electric utilitieslike Exelon , FirstEnergy , Pepco and PPL .
It might provide a lift to restaurants that do a big delivery business, like Papa John's or Domino's . But I am not seeing big volume in any of them.
—By CNBC's Bob Pisani
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