STOCKS GET DESTROYED, DOW FALLS 266, GOLD SURGES: Here's What You Need To Know

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Horrible and depressing and disappointing.But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: -265.72
NASDAQ: -75.43
S&P 500: -32.89

And now, the top stories:

  • First, we’ll just get it out of the way. The debt ceiling story is over. The Senate passed the hike and Obama signed it. The story’s resolution provided no lift to stocks whatsoever. Re-live today’s full events here >
  • The bigger story is Europe going blamo. Italy and Spain just keep looking like they’re about to get sucked into the vortex. Yields are surging in both countries. Bank stocks are getting their heads beaten in. Politicians in both countries are doing the same song and dance, claiming that they’re fine. It’s bad news, and both countries are probably too big to save. If they go, the Eurozone goes kaput. Click here to see who gets smashed if Italy goes bust >
  • And then again, the weak US economy. Consumer spending in June went negative “unexpectedly.” Income growth was also poor.
  • Mix it all up, shake… You get stocks killed, Treasury yields collapsing (why is the government worried about saving money again?), gold soaring (up nearly $40!), the Franc soaring and the yen soaring. Even silver caught a nice bounce today. The S&P is now down for 2011. This is also the 8th straight down day for the Dow, which is the first time since this has happened since October 2008. Uh-oh.
  • Ominously, the selling was super-aggressive late int he day.
  • In terms of sectors, the biggest losers was industrials (down 3%) followed by consumer services, down 2.7%.
  • As for the connection between the debt ceiling deal and the markets, there’s probably no real connection, except the queazy feeling you might get from thinking about spending cuts during a bad recovery.
  • Click here to see the defence and healthcare stocks that could get smashed form the debt ceiling deal >

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