Investors Bail - Biggest One
Day Point Loss In US
Stock Market History
CBC News
© 2001 CBC All Rights Reserved

TORONTO - Investors bailed out of U.S. stocks Monday - the first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq since last Tuesday's terrorist attack. Airline stocks suffered particularly large losses.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 684.33 points at 8921.18 on record volume of 2.3 billion shares. It was the biggest one-day point loss ever. Curbs were implemented to limit program-driven trading.

Airline issues were devastated. AMR, parent of American Airlines, began trading late because there were so many sell orders. It fell $11.70 US to $18 US. United Airlines fell $13.32 US to $17.50 US. Boeing fell $7.66 US at $35.80 US.

Continental Airlines lost almost half its value, losing $19.59 US to $20.05 US. The airline said it would not make a $70 million US interest payment due Monday.

Anything travel related fell. Casinos, hotels, Walt Disney, online travel companies all stand to lose customers who are now very travel-shy.

American Express was down $4.76 US to $30.25 US.

Defence stocks were sharply higher; while entertainment and media stocks were lower. Blockbuster bucked that trend as investors bet that people would rather stay at home and rent a movie rather than travel.

The U.S. Federal Reserve tried to support markets by cutting its key federal funds rate by half a percentage point Monday morning.

Many U.S. companies had announced stock buybacks to support their share prices.

The NYSE opening following an emotional ceremony that ended with two minutes of silence and the singing of the U.S. national anthem at the exchange. The opening bell was rung by members of New York's fire and police departments.

U.S. market watchers said it was an orderly sell-off. And the exchanges were able to handle extremely heavy volume - a remarkable feat given the herculean job that had to be done to get the circuits working after the devastating attack.

Many market participants on Wall Street were also mourning lost colleagues, and that made the mood very sombre.

At the tech-heavy Nasdaq, the composite index was down 115.77 points to 1579.61. That's its lowest level since October 1998.

Microsoft fell $4.67 US to $52.91 US. Intel dropped $2.41 US to $23.66 US.

At the close, the TSE 300 Composite Index was up 17.15 points to 6908. The TSE's fall took place last week it was open for two full trading days after the attack and had dropped 7 per cent at that time.

Nine of the TSE's 14 sub-indices were up Monday, led by a 3.5 per cent rise in the consumer products sector.

Nortel was unchanged at $7.80; Bombardier was down $1.01 to $14.50; Air Transat was up 65 cents to $5.85. Air Canada was up 25 cents at $4.25. The airline announced that it was withdrawing its previous earnings forecast for 2001 and 2002 and would cut transborder flights by 20 per cent.

Manulife Financial fell $1.50 to $38.05. Clarica Life estimated its losses from the World Trade Center attacks at less than $25 million. It rose 46 cents to $43.46.

Written by CBC News Online staff


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