STOCKS TANK, EUROPE GETS CRUSHED AGAIN: Here's What You Need To Know

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Europe and a trio of disappointing U.S. economic data.First the scoreboard:

Dow: 12,964.1, -68.6, -0.5%
S&P 500: 1,376.9, -8.2, -0.5%
NASDAQ: 3,007.5, -23.8, -0.7%

And now the top stories:

  • Spain and France each held big sovereign bond auctions that went smoothly.  However, they were not strong enough to instill confidence in the markets. Spain’s IBEX 35 sunk 2.4 per cent.  France’s CAC 40 fell 2.0 per cent. NOMURA: This Is Where The World Is Heading In 2012 And 2013 >
  • U.S. markets got pummelled by a trio of disappointing data.  Initial jobless claims declined to 386k, but economists were looking for 370k.  Even worse, last week’s reading of 380k was revised up to 388k.
  • The closely-watched Philly Fed index fell to 8.5 in April, which was below economists’ estimate of 12.0.  However, the employees sub-index, an indicator of future hiring, jumped to 17.9 from 6.8.
  • Existing home sales fell to 2.6 per cent to 4.48 million.  Economists were looking for 4.59 million.  Last month’s number was revised slightly higher to 4.60 million from 4.59 million.  And so the series of disappointing housing data continues.
  • The big bank stocks were mixed today despite better-than-expected earnings. Morgan Stanley announced EPS of $0.71, crushing analysts’ expectations.  Shares jumped.  Bank of America announced EPS of $0.31, also beating estimates.  However, BAC shares fell with the rest of the stock market.  Legendary money manager Doug Kass bought shares of both stocks. The 21 Most Controversial Stocks In The World >
  • Shares of eBay exploded higher today on great Q1 earnings.  Macquarie’s Ben Schacter upgraded the stock on optimism regarding marketplace growth and PayPal merchant services growth.
  • Apple tumbled today.  Michael Walkley of Canaccord Genuity warned of “modestly slowing iPhone 4S sell-through trends in developed markets.”  Chip supplier Qualcomm said it would have trouble making chips for the next iPhone.  However, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster thinks chip fears are overblown.
  • Microsoft announces Q1 earnings after the bell.  Follow it LIVE at Business Insider.
  • Don’t Miss: These 10 Stocks Will ‘Bullet-Proof’ Your Portfolio >

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