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While I hate to deconstruct the events of 9-11 down to an impersonal, economic level, the fact is, it's inevitable. For the events of 9-11 were in large part an attack not just on America and her people, but also on democracy and world capitalism.

For the World Trade Center was the global symbol for free enterprise. Even though the attack scored a palpable hit. . .in the end, the terrorist attack on American soil failed.

In the five years since the World Trade Center attacks, North American stock indexes have advanced. Contrary to what many thought would occur.

Within a month, the S&P 500 had recovered to its level of September 10. On March 10, 2006, the Dow reached a six-year closing high of 11642.65, within 100 points of its all-time peak.

The Dow Jones industrial average has gained over 18% since September 11, while the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index is up 19%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq has added over 27% and the TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) has soared 72%.

While some of those gains are not as bullish as some penny stock investors would like to see, it's important to note these gains reflect a stock market that is, for the most part, unfazed by the threat of another attack.

This same pattern has emerged after each major terrorist attack since September 11. Stocks retreated, but eventually bounced back after the bomb blasts in Turkey in November, 2003, and the Madrid train bombing in March, 2004. It took less than a day for the major indexes to rebound following the July, 2005, bombing in London.

"9-11 put terrorism on the map as something you had to take into account, " said one market strategist. “Since 9-11, every time there's a terror attack, the market reaction gets small and smaller. "

"It just takes an awful lot to break down the capital structure of the U. S. , much less the world, with any individual event, " noted another analyst.

For penny stock investors, the events of September 11 reinforced the importance of a diversified portfolio as protection against future tragedies. While the markets in general will eventually rebound. . . some sectors may lag.

Which penny stocks are doing well right now? Energy stocks are still performing well and have been among the biggest winners over the past five years. . . though that could also spell over-inflation.

Defense-related companies have also posted strong gains. Since September 11, the U. S. Department of Homeland Security and its agencies have paid private contractors at least $130 billion. And this sector shows no signs of slowing down.

Some groups that tumbled after September 11 have rebounded. I was reading that the Dow Jones Wilshire U. S. Travel & Leisure index slid for much of 2002, but rallied nearly 50% from September 10, 2001. The Dow Jones Wilshire U. S. Industrial Goods & Services Index is up 36% since September 10, 2001.

With or without terrorism, penny stock investors should be prepared for the unexpected, say analysts. Noting, “If there's a lesson to be had from the tragic event, it's that event risk is with us, and it's not going to go away. "

What can penny stock investors take away five years later? I think we've learned that we are a resilient country, and can rebound from anything. So don't abandon your penny stocks because the world is a mess.

If anything, our country is stronger, we have greater resolve, and determination. So do exactly what you did before the events of September 11; scour the markets and diversify your penny stock picks.

A seasoned investor with a keen interest in international business and current affairs, John Whitefoot has been working alongside Peter Leeds for the last several years. With over ten years experience in the investing community, Whitefoot is devoted to uncovering the news, trends and ideas that shape penny stocks on a daily basis.


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