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.
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.