(Bloomberg News) Investors who bought stocks as Europe's credit crisis spread, Japan battled a nuclear emergency and the U.S. budget deficit swelled to a record are unlikely to view the death of Osama bin Laden as anything but bullish.
His killing in Pakistan may lure more individuals to stocks in coming months, said Thomas J. Lee, chief U.S. equity strategist for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York. While the attack may create a martyr for terrorists, it will spur traders to sell commodities and buy shares, said Jim O'Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management in London. The dollar's retreat won't be curbed, said Kathleen Brooks, research director at Gain Capital Group LLC.
Bin Laden's death marked the end of a 10-year manhunt encompassing two global bear markets in stocks that began with the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11, 2001. While some strategists attributed only symbolic importance to the operation and U.S. equities fell yesterday, Lee said investors will reap benefits as confidence in the U.S. and President Barack Obama increases.
Yesterday's market reaction was "basically noise," Lee said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop" with Betty Liu. "It's positive because people have been avoiding stocks because they think they've been risky, and part of it is global security. This is going to basically really boost inflows into stocks."
U.S. stocks retreated yesterday, pulling the Standard & Poor's 500 Index down 0.2% to 1,361.22 after it reached the highest level since June 2008. Yields on 10-year notes fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 3.28% at 5:11 p.m. in New York, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader prices, after rising as much as three basis points.
The dollar touched the weakest level in 16 months versus the euro, while oil for June delivery fell 41 cents to settle at $113.52 a barrel in New York.
The benchmark gauge for American equities has rallied 8.3% from this year's low on March 16 as Japan avoided a nuclear meltdown following its biggest earthquake on record. The MSCI All-Country World Index of emerging and developed market stocks has rebounded 10% since March even as Obama sought $4 trillion in deficit cuts within 12 years and Greek and Irish bond yields increased amid concern over Europe's debt crisis.
The S&P 500 slipped 0.2% to 1,358.72 as of 10:26 a.m. in New York today.