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Thomas Bulkowski’s successful investment activities allowed him to retire at age 36. He is an internationally known author and trader with 30+ years of stock market experience and widely regarded as a leading expert on chart patterns. He may be reached at

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Bulkowski's Review: 9-11 and the Markets

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Candles Chart
Small Patterns
Industrials (^DJI):
Transports (^DJT):
Utilities (^DJU):
Nasdaq (^IXIC):
S&P500 (^GSPC):
As of 04/20/2018
24,463 -201.95 -0.8%
10,579 -92.91 -0.9%
691 -5.96 -0.9%
7,146 -91.93 -1.3%
2,670 -22.99 -0.9%
Tom's Targets    Overview: 04/13/2018
25,300 or 23,400 by 05/01/2018
10,800 or 9,800 by 05/01/2018
670 or 710 by 05/01/2018
7,400 or 6,800 by 05/01/2018
2,750 or 2,600 by 05/01/2018

Written by and copyright © 2005-2018 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information.

The terrorists events of 9-11 took all of America by surprise, but how did the stock market react? This page takes a closer look.

9-11: Dow Industrials

Picture of the Dow Jones Industrials during 9-11

With the focus on 9-11, it is hard to remember what year the terrorist events took place. That was in 2001, which the above chart shows as it relates to the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

In early March, an ugly double bottom occurred which confirmed in a few days as price climbed above the peak between the two valleys. Price moved up in a sweeping turn, culminating in a new calendar year high for the Dow. From there, it was downhill until July when a descending triangle chart pattern appeared. The breakout from that was downward, and less than two weeks later, the terrorists struck.

The markets never opened on 9/11 nor the next day. In fact, they were closed until 9/17. When the markets finished trading that day (9/17), the Dow was down 7%, or 685 points from the prior close. It got worse. Measured from the close on 9/10, price bottomed 17% lower on 9/21. But after that, it was up and away.

Price formed a broadening top chart pattern during October and into November. A partial decline at point B shows the way to an upward breakout.

For my own account, I feel fortunate. I sold Alaska Air Group (ALK) on 9/6, just days before the terrorists dropped price of the stock by 45%. And my brother left a meeting on floor 102 of the twin towers the day before the attack. Many of the people he met with are dead.


9-11: S & P 500 Index

Picture of the S and P 500 Index during 2001

The Standard and Poor's 500 Index shows a similar tale. The same ugly double bottom appears in March. Price dropped after 9/11 but it was already trending down by then. The V-shaped chart pattern in September is remarkable for its sharpness. Price dropped in a straight-line run and then shot back up in a straight-line run until October. There it formed a broadening formation, right-angled and ascending chart pattern. After that, price made a broadening top chart pattern, which led into the new year.

9-11: Nasdaq Composite

Picture of the Nasdaq Composite during 2001

The last chart shows the Nasdaq composite on the daily scale. The chart is somewhat different from the others. Price from A to B forms a gentle rounding top, which is itself composed of a complex head-and-shoulders top. At C, price stages a downward breakout but it lasts for just one day. Price tries to move higher but gives up and makes its way lower to 9/11.

-- Thomas Bulkowski


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Written by and copyright © 2005-2018 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information. Atheist: A person with no invisible means of support.