Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, September 12, 2001

America's bloodiest day

Analysts split on how market will respond

Associated Press

NEW YORK — The nation's securities markets shut down and New York's financial district was left in chaos yesterday by the terrorist attack that devastated the World Trade Center.

The New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market planned to remain closed at least through today. Analysts were divided on the effect the attacks would have when trading resumes.

The shutdown on the NYSE, the nation's oldest exchange, was the longest since the market closed for two days at the end of World War II. The NYSE's longest closing was nearly four months during World War I.

The trade center is a few blocks from the NYSE in the area known as the Financial District, home to dozens of investment houses and brokerages. Its twin 110-story towers, among the tallest skyscrapers in the world and a distinctive part of the city's skyline, collapsed after two hijacked jetliners crashed into them, scattering debris throughout the area.

The New York Mercantile Exchange, where energy futures are traded, is in the nearby World Financial Center, which was not directly hit in the plane assault.

In Europe, panic buying caused oil and gold prices to soar as investors looked for the safest, least risky places possible to place their cash. Bond prices also moved higher. The U.S. dollar, meanwhile, fell against other foreign currencies.

"This attack was an overt attempt to disrupt the financial system. But a lot of how the U.S. market reacts will probably depend on how long it stays shut," said Richard Dickson, technical analyst at Hilliard Lyons.

If the shutdown is brief, there might be some initial selling when trading resumed, Dickson said, but "things would stabilize pretty quickly."

However, Brian Belski, fundamental market strategist at US Bancorp Piper Jaffray, cautioned against making too many assumptions, noting that "the market is very reactive right now, and it's never seen anything like what just happened."