New York Stock prices fluctuated Monday as investors tried to discern what the U.S. military attacks on Afghanistan will mean for the country and the weak economy.
Analysts said investors are worried that the United States will suffer more terrorism after American forces on Monday continued missile attacks begun Sunday in Afghanistan, retaliating for the Sept. 11 terrorist assaults in New York and Washington. Those worries weighed on the market, squelching investors' newfound enthusiasm for stocks.
In midafternoon trading Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 53.63 at 9,066.14, having risen 272.21, or 3.1 percent, last week.
The broader market was narrowly lower. The Nasdaq composite index slipped 1.33 to 1,603.97. Last week, the tech-focused index rose 106.50, or 7.1 percent. The Nasdaq has posted wins for the last four sessions, a streak not seen since June 26-29.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index, Wall Street's widest measure, was down 9.17 at 1,062.21.
"The market is attempting to stabilize," said Alan Ackerman, executive vice president of Fahnestock & Co.
But analysts were encouraged by the fact that Monday's pullback wasn't greater.
"Markets have historically recovered from catastrophes with a decent relief rally. It appears we are in one of those right now," Ackerman said, noting that the Nasdaq's winning streak.
Trading volume was lighter than normal, which could be attributed partly to traders' caution, as well as the Columbus Day holiday.
The nation's three big automakers traded lower on a report in the Financial Times that they are slashing production further. The tech sector fared better, posting slim gains and losses for the most part.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers nearly 3 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was 633.76 million shares, well below the 835.83 million shares traded at the same point Friday.
Japan's markets were closed for a holiday.