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US Investors Return to Business Monday - 2001-09-16

Following a weekend of reflection and mourning, investors will return to the business of Wall Street Monday. No one is quite sure what to expect when the stock markets reopen trading.

By the time of the opening bell on Wall Street at 9:30 a.m., investors will have had six full days to ponder the horrible events of last Tuesday. Some market-watchers say early indications from the U.S. treasuries market, which reopened last week, are encouraging from the logistics standpoint.

But the flight to quality in treasuries, they say, could point to potential panic selling when stocks start trading again. Market historians say a sell-off in the wake of the recent national tragedy would not be unusual.

Other analysts are more optimistic. They point to confidence-building measures such as plans by networking equipment company Cisco to buy back up to $3 billion of its shares, and the huge infusion of money by the Federal Reserve - the U.S. central bank.

The markets are ruled by emotions to a large extent. And one of the emotions out there now is patriotism. Analysts hope it will offset some of the selling pressure.

Financial advisor Jim Lund, for one, says he sees some positive signs from investors already. "We've seen the international markets go down the day of the tragedy and then come back or rebound the day after," he said. "Some of the emotion now is being let go. And I'm finding now more often than not clients calling in, wanting to rescind previous orders so they don't get out of the market, based on their emotions and so on."

A lot of mutual fund managers apparently have been getting calls from anxious clients. Everyone anticipates a very busy, hectic day Monday when the stock markets finally reopen.

The U.S. markets were already under pressure in a slowing economy before the terror attack last Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average will start off below the key psychological level of 10,000, at 9,605.