Hurricane Michael, a powerful category 4 storm, is on a collision course with the Florida Panhandle. The storm is expected to make landfall sometime on Wednesday. According to a report from The Weather Channel, this is the first category 4 storm to strike the area in recent times. It will produce life-threatening winds and storm surges.
“I’ll tell you to go back to the records to 1851, and you can’t find a category 4 in the Panhandle, so this is an unprecedented event,” said Director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) Ken Graham.
While the storm will likely cause significant damage to homes and buildings in the affected area, Michael will also be felt throughout the country’s financial markets. According to a report from Bloomberg, experts are predicting the hurricane to cause “$16 billion in damage.” Home building companies, hospital firms, major retailers, and the energy sector are some of the industries that will be most affected by the storm.
Stocks of Pulte Homes, Toll Brothers, NVR Inc., and Beacon Roofing Supply were all up on Wednesday morning. According to Bloomberg, companies that specialize in construction supplies, such as timber, are also expected to rise as demand increases. However, as damage estimates range on the tens of billions and push construction stocks up, shares of insurance companies, such as Chubb and Allstate, fell in expectation of the flood of insurance claims that will come after the storm.