EARLY MOVERS: Florence hits North Carolina and NiSource stock tanks after gas explosions

Also in the frame before the bell is electric car group Nio and L Brands Inc

Hurricane Florence has made landfall

On the last day of the trading week, eyes are on the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, as well as a host of corporate stories.

The storm  is now a Category 1 but its slower pace means the destruction and suffering could last many more hours than previously thought.

Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers, which set off various events, and ultimately a global financial meltdown.

Today, in pre-market, NiSource Inc (NYSE:NI) shares shed 7.41% to stand at US$26 after customers of one of the group's firms - Columbia Gas of Massachusetts - were asked to evacuate following gas explosions in the US state.

It was reported that Columbia Gas crews need to visit each of the 8,600 affected customers to shut off each gas meter and conduct a safety inspection.

Ironically perhaps, NiSource shares had closed Thursday at a record high, after surging 17% in the past three months.

Elsewhere, electric car firm Nio (NYSE:NIO) shares are up over 21% in pre-market at US$14.15 after the stock rocketed over 75% to US$11.60 each.

The Chinese firm is a rival to Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and only floated on the stock market two days ago (Wednesday).  It raised US$1bn from the offering, at the bottom of its price range. It was hoping to raise as much as US$1.8bn.

Cannabis stocks are also a theme again. Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) shares shed almost 15% to US$102. Canopy Growth Corp (TSE:WEED) shares lost 13.62% yesterday in Toronto 

Politico reported that the U.S. may ban Canadians who invest in the companies from entering the U.S.A.

Canadians who smoke marijuana, work in the industry or invest in the companies could be permanently banned from the U.S, a customs and border official reportedly told the news organization.

Also in the news, Bob Evans Farm Inc has reportedly recalled almost 47,000 pounds of pork sausages amid fears they are contaminated with plastic.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) warned sausages produced on August 1 this year may contain pieces of clear, hard plastic.

L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB) shares added 2.04% to US$28 in before the bell deals, as it emerged it will close all of its of its Henri Bendel stores as well as shut down the brand's website in January, next year.

The handbag maker has been in business for 123 years and was bought by the Victoria's Secret parent in 1985.

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