The futures are currently pointing to a lower open, as all eyes are watching the potential damage from Hurricane Katrina. I got a flash report last night about the storm, and the overnight futures were even lower than they are right now.
A Category 5 hurricane in the most severe type measured, and insurers say the damage could be the most costly in US history. The economic damage could include oil & gas refiners near the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the Port of Louisiana, which is the fifth-largest port in the world in terms of tonnage, according to Stratfor.
There is also a big risk in terms of the human toll, since New Orleans sits below sea level. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in that region. Expect the media coverage today and tomorrow to be dominated by storm updates.
As for the market, energy stocks of all sorts are already rallying, while insurance stocks are taking it on the chin.