Stocks rallied around the world


despite some bad data and a moderate earthquake in D.C.

But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: +293
NASDAQ: +100
S&P 500: +37

And now the top stories:

  • Asian markets turned positive after China’s manufacturing index showed a slower than expected decline, leading to gains above 1% in Shanghai and the Nikkei. European markets followed suit despite the seventh straight month of declines for German manufacturing and the first decline in two years for European manufacturing activity.
  • US markets opened sharply higher and weren’t slowed down by a big miss on new home sales and a decline in the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index. That’s right, manufacturing is slowing everywhere. The rally gained steam through the day, solidifying a global rebound. Everyone is waiting for Friday, however, when Ben Bernanke faces a burden of high expectations.
  • Bank of America ate another 3.6% decline and went to press to quash rampant rumours that it doesn’t have adequate capital reserves. Five-year CDS spreads soared to record levels. Goldman Sachs, which got killed yesterday on lawsuit rumours, suffered only moderate declines. Other financials did better, even as UBS joined the Wall Street layoff explosion.
  • The Libyan Rebels captured Qaddafi’s compound and fired a bunch of bullets in the air. The only thing missing in this celebration was Qaddafi, who said from an undisclosed location that he will fight to the death.
  • A 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit near DC at 13:51 ET. No one was injured, but buildings including the Capitol were evacuated. We felt a mild rumble at BI’s office in New York City. The East Coast may face greater danger when a huge category-4 hurricane makes landfall on Thursday.
  • Finally Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are about to join the list of Hollywood’s most shocking breakups >