Stocks Get Hammered After Ugly Economic Data: Here's What You Need To Know

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Things were basically looking good this morning, and then at 8:30 the bottom dropped out.

But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: -145
NASDAQ: -35.70
S&P 500: -18.5

And now the top stories:

  • The overnight and early market action were just fine. There was some chatter of a Japanese stimulus and BoJ monetary easing, but nothing that was too monumental.
  • Then, right after 8:00 AM ET, with futures pointing to a roughly even open: another megadeal. This time it was cash-rich Intel buying software maker McAfee, in a $7.7 billion head-scratcher of a deal.
  • Just when it seemed like that deal news might give markets a lift — like the BHP Billiton/Potash deal did on Tuesday — initial claims came out at 8:30, and at 500,000, they just screamed: DOUBLE DIP.
  • Stocks began to fall noticeably, and then after that, the Philly Fed came out with a VERY ugly report, prompting an aggressive selloff. At one point markets were down around 2% across the board. See the full details of the report here >
  • All the bad news prompted Obama to give a speech blasting Republican Senators from holding up a bill that would help small businesses
  • In the end, bonds hit another record, and stocks got back a little, but it was obviously ugly all around.

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