Archive for Tuesday, September 11, 2001

EXTRA - Investors urged to hold course

Lawrence brokers expect ‘flight to safety,’ then market rally

September 11, 2001


A national disaster that destroyed both towers of the World Trade Center in New York, crashed into the Pentagon in Washington and shook the country's consciousness cannot shake the foundation of the U.S. financial markets, a Lawrence broker said.

While financial markets in the short term likely will see a push from stocks to bonds in the days ahead known as a "flight to safety" in times of turmoil the long-term effects on investors isn't expected to be much, said Steve Edmonds, branch manager and senior vice president for Robert W. Baird & Co., 1429 Oread West.

"This is all very short-term," Edmonds said. "The most important things are the directions of profits, and the direction of interest rates. Those are the things that affect stock prices over the long term.

"This will be an emotional reaction. It's a horrible thing for the nation, but it will have a short-term effect on the markets."

This morning, the Securities and Exchange Commission said that all financial markets would be closed for the day. The announcement followed a suspension of trading on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market. The American Stock Exchange decided to close for the day.

What investors should do during the days ahead, according Steve Edmonds, of Robert W. Baird in Lawrence:Observe. Institutional investors and mutual funds likely will shift money from stocks to bonds, part of the "flight to safety" because U.S. Treasuries are considered the world's safest investment. That means stock values likely will drop once trading resumes, and bond prices will rise (and yields will fall).Don't change course. "It doesn't affect your long-term planning," Edmonds said."Don't panic," Edmonds said. "Keep your cool and don't overreact to this. As horrible as this is, it's a short-term affect on the market."

When the markets reopen, Dave Mattern expects U.S. investors to put faith back in the market if not immediately, at least within a few months. He checked the numbers this morning, and found that markets rallied after the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 and after the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

"It's our experience, or the experience of the market, that the nation actually will rally together," said Mattern, financial consultant for A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc., 1811 Wakarusa Drive. "The nation's classically rallied around the flag when tragedy's happened in the past. We look for the same thing to occur here."

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