"Don't get mad, get even." -- Robert F. Kennedy

BREAKFAST WITH THE FOOL
Markets to Reopen Monday

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By Mike Trigg (TMF Tonto)
September 14, 2001

The markets will be open for business Monday, almost a week after terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon forced the longest shutdown in trading since World War I. The New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange, and Nasdaq will test their networks and equipment over the weekend, ensuring that there won't be any significant problems when trading does resume next week.

"The foremost concern to the markets is restoration of our equity trading business, but no desire to resume trading will take precedence over recovery efforts," said chairman of the New York Stock Exchange Richard Grasso, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The decision to postpone the reopening of the markets was also made because traders, investors, and other market participants were thought to need additional time to recover from the emotional and physical destruction that's resulted from the terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, bond trading did resume yesterday because it takes place over computers and the telephone, and transactions don't pass through a central trading floor like the New York Stock Exchange.

The decision to keep the exchanges closed appears to be a good one. Many skeptical onlookers have been predicting that the markets would get hammered upon reopening as investors bail out of equities and into cash accounts and United States Treasuries. But there has been some indication that such knee-jerk reactions might not occur, given that the European markets, which fell quickly after the attacks, have risen modestly over the past two days.

Of course, it's very difficult to know what will happen when the markets open. Perhaps some investors will decide to buy more stocks and others might stay on the sidelines. Either way, most long-term investors would not be well-served by selling. Not only have the markets proven to come back after terrifying events, but as we've written in several columns recently, letting terrorists dictate your actions -- investment or otherwise -- isn't right.

News to Go

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) announced better-than-expected first-quarter results yesterday. The database and e-business applications software vendor reported net income of $510.6 million, or $0.09 per share, compared to $500.7 million, or $0.08 per share, in the year-ago period. That beat Wall Street's expectation by a penny. Revenue fell to $2.24 billion from $2.26 billion a year ago.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (NYSE: MWD) said 40 of its 3,700 employees in the World Trade Center died in the terrorist attack earlier this week. Sadly, according to a Bloomberg article, firms such as Cantor Fitzgerald, Marsh & McLennan, and Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. have lost even more employees. Yesterday, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said 4,763 people are considered to be missing.

Major League Baseball and the National Football League announced that all their games will be postponed through this weekend. Major League Baseball will make up its games at the end of the season, while the NFL has not decided upon a revised schedule. Division 1-A college football games have also been postponed this weekend. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said all players will wear American flags on their uniforms.

Some more good news on the investigation front came yesterday when investigators reported that they had recovered the black box flight data recorder from United Airlines (NYSE: UAL) flight 93, which crashed earlier this week in Western Pennsylvania. The data recorder, which is made by companies like Honeywell (NYSE: HON), will be sent to the National Transportation Safety Board laboratory in Washington.

Mike Trigg offers his condolences to anyone who lost friends and family in the attacks. To see his holdings, view his profile. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.

Editors' Pick

Bill Mann cautions against allowing vengeance or fear to strip away what makes this nation great.