A common assumption is that the wall-to-wall news coverage and sometimes apocalyptic language surrounding terrorist attacks lead investors to panic and pull their money out of the market.
It’s true that, on occasion, horrific acts of terrorism have pushed the market down hard in the short term. For example, the first trading day after the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., the Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped nearly 5%. But following many international terrorist attacks, the S&P 500 has been close to flat or even up. On July 15, the day after the attack in Nice, France, that killed more than 80 people at a Bastille Day celebration, the index slipped 0.09%.
In a Bankrate survey, most people said acts of terror wouldn’t affect their investing.
Here’s how the S&P 500 performed after some of the most infamous terrorist attacks since 2001.