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A Tokyo Electric Power official points at an illustration of a nuclear plant as he answers reporters' questions at the disaster centre in Fukushima, northern Japan on March 15, 2011.

YURIKO NAKAO/Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

It always helps traders to look at past events to get some context on how a current crisis is going to play out on stocks.

Birinyi Associates Inc. says there are three nuclear crises that affected markets in the past before Japan and that all three showed recoveries for stocks fairly quickly.

The S&P 500 fell 1.5 per cent in 1996 after the Fermi 1 event in 1966. It took four days to reach a trough and six days to recover.

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In 1986, S&P 500 stocks fell 2.5 per cent after the Three Mile Island crisis. They took three days to trough and again, six days to recover.

The Chernobyl crisis in 1986 was more severe. The S&P 500 fell 4.3 per cent and took 14 days to trough, 20 to recover.

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About the Author
Executive Editor, Report on Business

Scott Adams is the executive editor for Report On Business and Globe Investor. He was previously the managing editor of Globe Investor. He has been a business journalist for more than 10 years, worked as an associate analyst on Bay Street and has been with The Globe and Mail since 2007. More

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