All-around ugly. The close was especially bad.But first, the scoreboard:
S&P 500: -16
And now, the top stories:
- The day really started last night when the WSJ dropped its big story about the Fed being divided on the proper course of action. The report sent jitters throughout the markets, both because the future is uncertain, but also because it revealed that several of the Fed governors aren’t actually seeing the economic deterioration being seen by market participants.
- The Nikkei started off and ended weak, as more murmurs about BoJ-yen intervention gathered steam. Japanese FinMind Noda did hold a yen-related press conference, but it mainly signaled that no action was imminent, and the yen surged (later in the day that was tempered a little bit by wire reports about a possible intervention).
- Europe continued the ugly trend as sovereign debt worries continue to race into the fore. Greek shares plunged on talk of a desperate merger among the country’s banks. Even Germany’s deficit is soaring.
- Stocks were already sagging in the early going when existing home sales data came out and was staggeringly bad. At a drop of 27.2%, the number was far worse than the most dour expectations.
- That’s when things got pretty bad. Stocks fell further, the yen went ballistic, and the yield on the 10-year bond fell below 2.5%, a truly eye-popping number. Everyone is now presuming that another round of QE is a done deal.
- There were a few moments in the day when the bulls might try to make a run, but… nope. It never happened. Other notable market measures: Gold is quietly creeping back to old highs, while oil is threatening to fall below $70.
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