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Photo: Bill Chiocchi

Europe steals the headlines.First the scoreboard:

Dow: 12,715.9, -213.6, -1.6%
S&P 500: 1,358.5, -23.6, -1.7%
NASDAQ: 2,991.2, -55.8, -1.8%

And now the top stories:

  • It was an absolutely brutal day for European financial markets today.  The Italy’s FTSE MIB index crashed 4.98 per cent.  Spain’s IBEX tumbled 2.98 per cent.  Borrowing costs across the eurozone surged as fears of the debt crisis escalated once again.  The spread between German and Italian yields jumped to around 400 basis points.  The Spanish 10-year yield almost touched 6 per cent.  SEE ALSO 10 Horrible Facts About Spain >
  • Earlier, China provided no help to market sentiment by reporting lower-than-expected growth in imports and exports in March.  This reinvigorated the China bears who are forecasting a hard landing for the world’s second largest economy.  However, one analyst – Deutsche Bank’s Rob Clifford – thinks that all this bickering of a hard or soft landing is silly because the economy already landed years earlier.
  • We’ll learn a lot more about China after the bell when aluminium giant Alcoa announces its first quarter earnings.  China is the largest consumer of aluminium in the world.  Follow Alcoa’s earnings announcement LIVE on Business Insider.
  • Just two weeks after announcing disappointing quarterly earnings and a major new restructuring initiative, Best Buy unexpectedly announced that its CEO Brian Dunn would be resigning.  Are Apple And Amazon Destroying The Jobs Market?
  • Supervalu exploded higher today.  The grocery chain announced adjusted EPS of 38 cents per share, which beat analysts’ expectation for 35 cents.  Like most companies in the S&P 500, Supervalu’s EPS reflected a year-over-year decline.  Perhaps this is an indicator that stocks will be able to rise further despite earnings declines. Bank Of America Presents 18 Companies That Will Beat Earnings Estimates >
  • What are the analysts saying?  Morgan Stanley’s Adam Parker reiterated his bearish call for the S&P 500 to fall to 1,167 by year-end.  For people who are afraid of risky financial assets, Marc Faber has what he considers to be a safe-haven investment: real estate.
  • On the more optimistic side is BlackRock’s Bob Doll.  He reminded us that a 5 to 7 per cent correction isn’t unusual for stocks.
  • In other news, Apple’s market cap touched $600 billion.
  • Don’t Miss: One Of These 15 Companies Could Be The Next Apple >

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