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East Coast grinds to a halt as superstorm nears

Oct 29th, 2012 - National News

NEW YORK (AP) — Forecasters say Hurricane Sandy is about 310 miles southeast of New York City, and the center of the storm is expected to be near the mid-Atlantic coast tonight.

The National Hurricane Center said early today that the storm has top sustained winds of 85 mph, with higher gusts. It is moving toward the north-northwest at 20 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend up to 175 miles from the storm's center.

Sandy is on track to collide with a wintry storm moving in from the west and cold air streaming down from the Arctic.

Major metropolitan areas from Washington to Boston are bracing for what is expected to be a superstorm that could menace some 50 million people in the most heavily populated corridor in the nation.

All major U.S. stock exchanges will remain closed because of Hurricane Sandy.

There had been plans to allow electronic trading to go forward today on the New York Stock Exchange, but with all mass transit shut down, getting people in and out of New York was determined to be too dangerous.

Though it's likely to carry little market relevance, the Dow Jones industrial futures are down 67 points to 12,987. The broader S&P futures have given up 8.10 points to 1,399.50. Nasdaq futures are down 18 points to 2,641.

Some companies are also postponing quarterly earnings reports scheduled for release early this week. So far, that includes Pfizer Inc. and Thomson Reuters.

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