Economic Fallout: A Break from the Gloom

Hopes for a short conflict ignite global bullishness, but the U.S., already drained by recession, remains vulnerable to a costly war

On the morning after American-led forces launched the massive air attack on Iraq, traders at the New York Stock Exchange began their day with a minute of silence in honor of U.S. troops in the gulf. The moment of reflection turned out to be the only lull of the day. The opening bell was immediately followed by wild cheers and shouts of "Buy! Buy! Buy!" When the excitement was over, the exchange had recorded one of its busiest days in history. The Dow Jones average rose more than 114 points, the second highest one-day gain ever, to 2623.51. "The best scenario...

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