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Photo: James L.

Well, that’s one way to end a week.First the scoreboard:

Dow: 12,849.5, -136.9, -1.0%
S&P 500: 1,370.2, -17.3, -1.2%
NASDAQ: 3,011.3, -44.2, -1.4%

And now the top stories:

  • China, the world’s golden goose of growth, said GDP slowed to 8.1 per cent in Q1, down from 8.9 per cent in Q4.  Economists were looking for 8.4 per cent growth.  Not to worry, said JP Morgan’s Jing Ulrich.  The world’s second largest economy faced numerous headwinds in Q1, said Ulrich, but expected easing should cause it to accelerate in the second half.  JP Morgan sees China growing 8.4 per cent in 2012.
  • European stock markets got demolished today.  Leading the way down was Spain’s IBEX 35, which tumbled 3.5 per cent.  Italy’s FTSE MIB fell 3.3 per cent.  Meanwhile, Spanish borrowing costs exploded higher and CDS surged to record levels.  Why Next Week Will Be Huge For Spain >
  • Two big banks announced better-than-expected earnings this morning.  JP Morgan announced EPS of $1.31, which beat estimates of $1.18.  Wells Fargo, America’s bigges mortgage lender, reported EPS of $0.75, which was well ahead of the $0.67 estimate.
  • On the economic data front, the consumer price index (CPI) climbed 0.3 per cent in March.  Core CPI climbed by 0.2 per cent.  Both reads came right in line with expectations.  Krugman: After 5 Years, This Is What We’ve Learned From The Crisis >
  • University of Michigan Consumer Confidence unexpectedly fell to 75.7.  Economists were expecting the number to stay flat 76.2.
  • Shares of Google tanked today despite yesterday’s better-than-expected earnings announcement.  However, management announced a controversial stock split, which allows the company’s founders to maintain control of the company.  That seemed to turn off shareholders. Everything You Need To Know About Google’s Weird Stock Split >
  • So, it was Friday the 13th.  Art Cashin said traders used to wear hats on those Fridays to ward off evil spirits.  But according to his data, markets typically closed positive on these days.  For something scarier, we point you to Doug Kass, who points us to the “three peaks and a domed house” technical formation.  Kass isn’t a religious follower of technical analysis, but he notes that this particular pattern has been very foretelling lately.  Based on this technical pattern, the next stop for the S&P 500 is 1,100.
  • Don’t Miss: Richard Koo’s Latest Presentation On The Global Economic Crisis >

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