Markets closed down on Wall Street: DJI -0.43% SP500 -0.60% Nasdaq -0.54% Gold +0.14% Oil +0.55%.
Japan (NYSE:EWJ) has taken a turn for the worse with an increasing death toll, a possible nuclear meltdown, and more fallout from the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami. In the US, the question of the day has become “Will Japan End Any Chance of New Nuclear Power in the US?”
Today’s markets cracked because:
1) Japan’s (NYSE:EWJ) disaster has some investors and traders preparing for a stagnant market or worse. However, one of the great ironies of disasters is their economic generating properties. If there’s billions of dollars in damages, that’s how much economic activity will be needed to make Japan whole again. One major beneficiary in the Energy (NYSE:XLE) sector will be Solar (NYSE:TAN). With nuclear out of the cards for as long as the eye can see, companies such as First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) and GT Solar International (NASDAQ:SOLR) will be sprinting down the field with less competition. Other beneficiaries include Coal (NYSE:KOL), Natural Gas (NYSE:UNG), and — gasp –Oil (NYSE:USO). For a detailed list of the top companies in the Solar sector, check out This Sector is Shining Bright on a Down Day for Markets.
2) Transportation stocks got their teeth kicked in. The events in Japan and the Middle East are creating a lot of space for pessimism. One of the most sensitive sectors to a global slowdown would be transportation. Today, investors abandoned stocks such as CSX Corporation (NYSE:CSX), Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU), FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) and United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS). Don’t Miss: 3 Defensive ETFs to Hedge a Market Pullback.
3) Back to Japan. Big Japanese companies are losing access to manufacturing and shipping facilities. Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM) said it will lose $72 million a day as it lost 12 plants tied to its world-class lean operating platform. Other companies affected include Honda Motors (NYSE:HMC), Sony (NYSE:SNE), Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (NYSE:MTU), and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (NSANY).
Now that you’re in the know, time to wait and see what will move markets tomorrow.