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Hurricane forecast may have traders on edge

Big Data Download

The odds of having a major hurricane touch down in the United States are relatively low, and that's good news for property and casualty insurers, according to one expert.

But that doesn't mean traders are at ease.

"There's been some hesitancy about the property and casualty insurance stocks," Yahoo Finance senior columnist Michael Santoli told "Big Data Download." "Basically they've underperformed in the last month even as the overall insurance industry has actually performed relatively well this year," Santoli noted.

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The retail sector on the other hand is likely to benefit, especially when it comes to comparative-store sales, according to Paul Walsh, vice president of weather analytics at The Weather Channel.

"The fact that we're up against [Hurricane] Sandy last year, there were a lot of lost sales days … that they're going to get back this year," Walsh noted.

But home improvement stores may be an exception to that trend. Sales at stores like Home Depot and Lowe's saw a boost after last year's hurricane, which could mean tough year-over-year comparisons, Walsh said.

So far this hurricane season, which generally runs from the beginning of June to the end of November, there have been four major storms. Forecasters expect 16 more to crop up this season, Walsh said.

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There's at least one caveat to these predictions however: The number of storms can be fairly accurately predicted, but whether they'll touch down on land is very difficult to predict.

"So all of those storms could be offshore and have absolutely no impact," Walsh said.

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