| NEW YORK, March 14
NEW YORK, March 14 Small- and mid-cap stocks
dropped on Monday as Japan's earthquake and tsunami sparked
fears about the economic toll, with stocks with ties to nuclear
energy among the hardest hit.
Japanese authorities scrambled to avert a meltdown at a
stricken nuclear plant on Monday after a hydrogen explosion at
one reactor and exposure of fuel rods at another. For details,
Midcap Shaw Group Inc SHAW.N, which helps build nuclear
plants, tumbled 16.1 percent to $32.23. Smallcap Curtiss-Wright
Corp (CW.N) dropped 7.1 percent to $34.90. Miner Uranium
Resources Inc (URRE.O) plunged 26.9 percent to $1.70.
Even with a recent pullback in stocks light of tensions in
the Middle East and North Africa, analysts expect
nuclear-related stocks to have more difficulty rebounding as
political pressure may intensify on the industry.
"The market has done well, people are spooked -- you had
North Africa and now you have this, and if you need a reason to
sell, this is as good as any," said Tim Holland, co-portfolio
manager, of the Aston/TAMRO Diversified Equity Fund in
"These are the sort of dislocations that can present
opportunities but even if the news is better than feared out of
Japan, the headlines will give significant ammunition to those
in Washington, D.C., that were never fans of nuclear in
The S&P MidCap 400 index .MID shed 0.7 percent while the
S&P SmallCap 600 index .SML lost 0.6 percent. In comparison,
the benchmark S&P 500 index .SPX dropped 0.9 percent.
Midcap materials stocks were a bright spot, with the sector
.4GSPM up 2.9 percent after Lubrizol Corp LZ.N agreed to be
acquired by Warren Buffett's Berskhire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N)
(BRKb.N) for $9 billion. Lubrizol shares jumped 28.9 percent to
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Leslie Adler)