The September 11th attack
What to watch
Market watchers and analysts are uncertain of how investors and the market will react when trading resumes after the longest shutdown in decades. But among some areas analysts and others are watching include:
Defense stocks such as Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Co., for instance, may benefit from possible spending increases after the attacks.
Shares of drug and medical device makers, widely considered a dependable investment, may be a refuge when the U.S. market reopens. Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co., Johnson & Johnson and other big drugmakers are often seen as a bulwark against adversity because their profits tend to be steady regardless of the direction of the broader economy.
Computer disaster-recovery service providers, including International Business Machines Corp., SunGard Data Systems Inc. and Comdisco Inc. may see their shares rise as companies, law firms and government agencies seek help to find or replace documents and computer files, analysts said.
Makers of security and weapon-detection equipment including PerkinElmer Inc., Tyco International, Honeywell International Inc. and OSI Systems Inc. are likely to see sales, and share prices, rise, analysts say. U.S. airports, closed under government order, are boosting security. Besides airlines and airports, operators of buildings such as public schools, office buildings and key public utility sites may seek screening and security equipment.
If history is any guide, consumer spending will fall, which will affect retailers such as catalog retailer Lands' End Inc., which said call volume was 50 to 75 percent lower than normal last week. Retail sales had already been weakening. In a report last week, senior economists at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said it could be the worst holiday season for retailers since the 1991 recession.
Airlines may be among the hardest-hit industries as people avoid flying. U.S. airlines, which last year brought in $257 million a day in passenger revenue, were grounded for days last week. Even when flights resumed, analysts expect travel to remain light. Some likened the situation to the period after the Gulf War in the early 1990s, when international travel fell 28 percent and the decline hastened the demise of Eastern Airlines Inc. and Pan Am World Airways Inc. Already Midway Airlines last week announced it would end its business.
Gold is expected to continue to rise as investors anticipate new instability spurred by U.S. retaliation in connection with the terrorist attacks. Gold for immediate delivery is hovering in the $275-$285 an ounce range in London. But analysts caution that while it has risen about 3 percent since last Tuesday, it has been volatile.
Any retaliatory strikes may push up oil prices, affecting everything from trucking companies to producers of basic materials like chemicals and paper.