The stock market shrugged off the threat of terrorist attacks today, opening lower, as might have been expected, but then climbing back into positive territory.
Demonstrating their resolve to protect New York City's financial markets, Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R), New York Governor George E. Pataki (R) and Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D) rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange this morning.
The politicians then went to the exchange floor to mingle with traders, who said markets have already factored terrorism into stock prices, so the specific threats to the NYSE should not have much impact on stock prices.
That proved to be the case today as the Dow Jones industrial average climbed more than 40 points to 10180.26, a respectable gain given how weak the market has been this summer.
The Nasdaq Stock Market composite index and the Standard & Poors 500 stock index each gained 5 points, with the S&P closing at 1106.62 and the Nasdaq Composite ending the day at 1892.09.
The price of oil, which routinely responds to terror threats, hit a new all-time high of $43.94 cents a barrel on the New York futures market, then pulled back to close up 2 cents a barrel at $43.82.
The threats did affect the bond markets, where demand for the safety of government bonds was so great that interest rates fell slightly.
Shares of Prudential Financial, whose Newark headquarters was listed as a terrorist target, slipped slightly, but the stock of Citigroup, whose Park Avernue headquarters was also named a target, advanced.
Otherwise, it was basically business as usual in the stock market.
Shares of Proctor & Gamble lead the Dow higher after the nation's biggest supermarket products company reported high profits than analysts had predicted.
The day's hardest hit stocks were those of profit-making educational institutions, which fell after an earnings shortfall was issued by Corinthian Colleges Inc., one of three chains of schools that are targets of federal investigations joining the sinking stocks of Career Education Corp. and ITT Educational Services. All three are being investigated on allegations of fraud and manipulating records. If the allegations are proven, the schools could be kicked out of federal student aid programs, which finance many of their students.
Other for-profit learning stocks fell, including Strayer Education of Washington and Laureate Education of Baltimore, which until April was known as Sylvan Learning Systems.