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Storm causes some companies decide to postpone earnings reports

NEW YORK  — A number of major U.S. companies postponed quarterly earnings Monday, with Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the East Coast and the first unplanned shutdown of financial markets since 2001.

Pfizer Inc., Thomson Reuters Corp. and NRG Energy Inc. are among those holding financial reports until later this week. Pfizer and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., which were due to report Tuesday, will now announce results on Thursday. Thomson Reuters, also originally scheduled for Tuesday, will report Friday. NRG and McGraw-Hill Cos. will also report on Friday instead of Wednesday.

Companies delaying their announcements:

— Power provider Entergy Corp. will report on Nov. 5 instead of Tuesday.

— Biopharmaceutical Acorda Therapeutics Inc. will report results on Wednesday instead of Tuesday.

— Maintenance products distributor MSC Industrial Direct Co. will report results on Wednesday instead of Tuesday.

— Mortgage insurer Radian Group Inc. will report earnings on Thursday instead of Tuesday.

— Rudolph Technologies Inc., a provider of process characterization equipment and software for wafer fabs and advanced packaging facilities, will report results on Wednesday instead of Monday.

— Satellite radio provider Sirius XM Radio Inc. will report earnings on Thursday instead of Tuesday.

— Commercial mortgage real estate investment trust Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance Inc. will report on Thursday instead of Tuesday.

— Office Depot Inc. will report on Nov. 6 instead of Tuesday.

A half dozen other companies also announced that they were postponing their earnings announcements.

Other companies, including Burger King Worldwide Inc. and MasterCard Inc., are reporting as planned. Luggage maker Tumi Holdings Inc. said it will report its third-quarter results on Monday, but canceled its scheduled conference call because of Sandy.

Flooring and ceiling maker Armstrong World Industries Inc. posted its third-quarter results, but said it would reschedule its conference call to a later date.

Liberty Mutual Holding Co. canceled its conference call scheduled for Tuesday and said its financial results will be available on its web site as soon as possible.

The New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and CME Group in Chicago will remain closed Monday and appears increasingly likely, Tuesday. Trading on the NYSE was last closed on Sept. 11, 2001, and last closed for a weather related event in 1985, for Hurricane Gloria.

If the exchange does remain closed Tuesday, it would be the first weather-related consecutive-day closing since 1888, when a blizzard left drifts of snow as high as 40 feet.

Sandy strengthened before dawn Monday and stayed on a predicted path toward Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York — putting it on a collision course with two other weather systems that would create a superstorm with the potential for havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes.

Lower parts of Manhattan around the Financial District are under mandatory evacuation orders and by early Monday, water was already coming over the banks of Battery Park, just south of the New York Stock Exchange.

Those conditions are expected to worsen over the next two days as a combination of factors causes the storm surge to increase.

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