Sandy's Barely Budging the Dow

Investors may have feared a bloodbath the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) reopened after Hurricane Sandy's landfall, but the index hasn't moved the needle much today. The Dow's down 17, or 0.13%, as of 2:10 p.m. EDT after starting the day in the green. A few stocks have dragged the index down lower, and most of the index is in the red, but so far any doom-and-gloom predictions of post-hurricane market trauma seem to have come to nothing.

Not-so-stormy seas
One blue chip capitalized big-time on Sandy's blows. Home improvement retailer Home Depot (NYS: HD) has led all Dow stocks higher on the day so far with gains of more than 2.5%. The storm is estimated to have inflicted billions of dollars in damage, leaving plenty of business for Home Depot when affected residents begin repair work on their homes and businesses. The stock grazed its 52-week high earlier in the day.

Only a few other Dow members have recorded gains on the day, but some are up more than 1%. Financials have done well, with JPMorgan (NYS: JPM) and Bank of America (NYS: BAC) each topping 1% gains. The former reported that it had reopened more than 500 branches that are in hurricane-affected regions and had closed due to the storm, and around 60% of Chase ATMs in the area have returned to service.

Insurers blown away?
On the flip side, insurance giant Travelers (NYS: TRV) has taken a big blow in Sandy's aftermath. The stock has fallen 1.5% to rank among the Dow laggards with plenty of down-on-their-luck clients to cover in the coming days. It wasn't all bad for Traveler's, though: FBR Capital Markets analysts noted that insurers dipping on the damages offered "attractive buying opportunities."

Meanwhile, today's top Dow laggard has nothing to do with Hurricane Sandy. Entertainment giant Disney (NYS: DIS) has fallen almost 2% after the company acquired Star Wars media producer Lucasfilm and its assorted components from its owner, George Lucas. The $4.05 billion deal brings back memories of Disney's similar $4 billion purchase of Marvel Entertainment -- a move that paid off with the third-highest-grossing movie of all time and 2012's top movie so far, The Avengers. With one of the most powerful film franchises in history now in its pocket, Disney could see its investment pay off handsomely.

After the storm
Bank of America is doing well today, but should you be concerned about this financial king in the wake of the hurricane? To learn more about the most-talked-about bank out there, check out our in-depth company report on Bank of America. The report details Bank of America's prospects, including three reasons to buy and three reasons to sell. Just click here to get access.

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Dan Carroll has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Walt Disney, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Walt Disney and The Home Depot. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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