By Lisa Singhania and Eileen Alt Powell
NEW YORK – Wall Street showed signs of stabilizing in early trading Tuesday, a day after a reopening shockwave sent the Dow to its biggest one-day point drop.
In late morning trading, the Dow was up 23.52 at 8,944.22. The Nasdaq climbed 13.83 to 1,593.38, and the Standard &Poor’s 500 index inched up 4.03 to 1,042.80.
Trading was lighter than the day before, in part because it was Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year.
On Monday, the first day of trading since the terrorist attacks, the Dow lost a record 684.81 points and fell below 9,000 for the first time in more than 2 1/2 years. The Nasdaq dropped more than 115 points, also a 7 percent loss.
Analysts expect the market to be weak and vulnerable throughout the week. Investors now have more to be nervous about – namely, the prospect of war – than the weak economy, which had been dragging down stocks for weeks.
Insurance and financial companies and travel services were among the losers in Tuesday morning trading. But airlines, which suffered heavy losses Monday, were up.
Investors had looked to Tuesday’s session with apprehension, fearing further damage to the market.
“To buy stocks you need some kind of clarity and confidence, and right now you’ve got neither,” said Bill Barker, investment consultant at Dain Rauscher in Dallas. “The buying public is sitting on its hands. The sellers are obviously in control now.”
The market was closed for four days after the terror attacks, the longest shutdown since the Depression.
On Monday, volume on the New York Stock Exchange was a record 2.33 billion shares, surpassing the previous mark of 2.13 billion on Jan. 4.
The Federal Reserve’s decision to cut interest rates for the eighth time this year Monday was not enough to prevent Monday’s sell-off.
Although the NYSE was not directly damaged, the surrounding neighborhood was littered with debris. A week after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, rescue workers continued to search for survivors amid smoldering rubble. The smell of smoke still hangs in the air – even permeating the NYSE trading floor.
The American Stock Exchange, forced out of its home because of damage, was operating out of a few posts clustered in one area of the NYSE.
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