Citi Research's chief U.S. equity strategist projects "a messy set of numbers" in the months to come after analyzing the destructive effect of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma on the Gulf region.
In a note to clients Monday, Citi's Tobias Levkovich said that natural disasters across the country are likely to affect economic data in the near-term, but may also leave more lasting marks. Investors with exposure in home improvement stocks and materials may be set for gains.
"Investors will be getting confusing economic reports of demand for all kinds of goods and services in the weeks ahead given the impact of several tragic natural disasters," wrote Levkovich on Monday. "The effects of the hurricanes could lead to confusing numbers on data like retail sales, transportation traffic, electric power production, etc. and it may take a month or two for it all to stabilize."