Videoconferencing stocks surge following attacks; Dow plummets

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New York--Shares of videoconferencing providers surged Monday, as investors bet corporate travel restrictions and fear of flying may benefit the videoconferencing industry following last week's terrorist attacks.Shares of Polycom, which makes video communication equipment and software, jumped $6.31, or nearly 33%, to $25.45 in heavy trading on Nasdaq. ACT Teleconferencing soared $2.35, or 47%, to $7.35.V-SPAN Inc., which typically handles about 3,500 corporate clients a day, said last week it saw a 30% to 40% increase in traffic after the attack. Privately held V-SPAN expects the surging demand will require the company to almost double its business in the near term. Generally considered a supplement to attending trade shows the videoconferencing arena could get a big bounce in business since corporate travel will likely be dramatically cut back in the short term in the wake of the attacks. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 685 points, or more than 7%, at 8,920, the first time in two and a half years that the Dow had dropped below 9,000. The Nasdaq Composite Index, meanwhile, fell 116 points to 1,580. Wall Street opened Monday for the first time since the tragedy-the longest market shutdown since the Depression.

In other news related to last week's attacks:**Forrester Research Inc. postponed its upcoming Marketing Forum in New York. "Making Money with the Web" was to be held at the New York Marriott Marquis Sept. 23-25. Details regarding the rescheduled date and venue will be posted on Forrester's Web site as soon as they are available.

--Matthew Schwartz

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