Blame It on Sandy
Blame it on Hurricane Sandy. Some companies are beginning to cite effects from Sandy on their results. Saks said "sales trends have been soft for the first two weeks of November in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy."
Saks took down guidance because of the super storm, but Home Depot said Sandy helped it, and importantly said third quarter was "the start of the path toward the healing of the housing markets."
The New York Stock Exchange also noted that October volumes were weaker than normal, partly due to Sandy, with U.S. cash equities down 8 percent month over month and 39 percent year-over-year. Here's the strange part: The storm hit on Monday, Oct. 29. (Read More: Glitch at NYSE Shuts Off Trading on 200 Stocks)
1) The Greece mess continues: Europe and U.S. futures moved up a few points around 6:30 a.m. ET on reports the Germans were discussing bundling three different tranches of Greek aid into a single payment of roughly 44 billion euros ($56 billion). Last night, euro zone finance ministers reportedly gave Greece two extra years to address its budget deficit, but there seems to be no agreement on how to pay for that.
But give kudos to the International Monetary Fund: It appears to be pushing for some type of debt forgiveness for Greece, which is the only way to address the problem without an outright debt default. The problem is that most of the debt is publicly held by euro zone countries, and it cannot — or will not — write any of that debt off. At least not yet.
—By CNBC's Bob Pisani
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