Markets Rally as War Nears

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

Stocks surged on Wall Street Monday as U.S. leaders say there is no longer a chance for diplomacy and a UN resolution on Iraq.

The Dow closed up about 282 points as investors placed bets that a war would be swift and decisive.

Investors are calling it a relief rally. They say now that war with Iraq appears to be imminent war it puts to rest uncertainty that has plagued the markets for months.

Investors are smiling for the first time in months as the Dow jumped more than 200 points.

"It's the uncertainty that causes the downslide going into a conflict but then once the conflict itself starts, it's actually more positive for the market going forward," said Julie O'Rourke, Amcore Financial.

Experts say the war is an economic wild card. But if all goes well, it could be good news for investors. Statistics show that stocks rose on average nine percent during the past four major U.S. conflicts.

"However any shocks to whether it be any sever ally casualties or if a lot of oil gets destroyed, things like that could cause more uncertainty and shake things up a bit," O'Rourke said.

While eliminating uncertainty is helping to boost stock prices, it's taking a toll on bonds, crude and gold, which experts say all benefit from the irresolution of conflict. They're safe havens investors have found comfort in during recent months of turmoil.


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