Insurers were not the only companies to suffer in Sandy's wake. Delta Air Lines said it lost $45 million in revenue last month because of flight cancellations during and after the storm. Shares rose 3 cents to $9.74.
And Verizon Communications Inc., whose downtown Manhattan facilities are still without power, said the storm would have a "significant" effect on its fourth-quarter earnings. Verizon said it could not yet estimate the cost of the storm, which downed cell towers across the region. Its stock fell 43 cents to $44.71.
"The information coming out from the economic impact of Sandy is a negative," said Rob Lutts, president of Cabot Money Management in Salem, Mass. "I think the markets are trying to digest that and understand that, so there is a little bit of uncertainty."
Consumer discretionary stocks were the only rising category in the S&P 500. Internet travel sites priceline.com and TripAdvisor Inc. were among the S&P 500's top gainers. The companies surprised investors with better-than-expected third-quarter earnings after the market closed on Thursday. TripAdvisor rose $6.12, or 21 percent, to $35.53. Priceline added $61.24, or 10 percent, to $647.34.Starbucks rounded out the S&P 500's top three gainers, adding $4.47, or 10 percent, to $51.09. The ubiquitous coffee vendor said late Thursday that global revenue at cafes open at least a year rose 6 percent during its fiscal fourth quarter, which runs from July through September. Home decor retailer Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. shot up $7.74, or 32 percent, to $31.74 in its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. ___ AP Business Writer Steve Rothwell contributed to this story. Daniel Wagner can be reached at www.twitter.com/wagnerreports.