STOCKS FALL ON EVE OF BERNANKE’S BIG SPEECH: Here’s What You Need To Know

bernanke eyes

After three up days, the global stock rally lost steam.

But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: -172
NASDAQ: -48
S&P 500: -18

And now the top stories:

  • The huge news that kicked things off was last night’s resignation of Steve Jobs. Apple shares fell 6% in overnight trading but recovered through the day to less than 1% losses, ironically beating the rest of the market.
  • Asian markets ended up thanks to strong earnings out of China and signs that the government would increase spending. At this point in the day, gold was adding to a big two-day plunge. It would reverse some losses later as stocks sold off around the world.
  • European markets declined through the day, including a mini-flash crash in Germany that may have been triggered by an unfounded rumour of ratings downgrade. Investors certainly weren’t settled when most of Europe extended a ban on short selling, nor when Greece activated emergency liquidity measures nor when the BOE opened a line of swaps to the ECB.
  • Warren Buffet rode to the rescue of Bank of America with a $5 billion investment, which spurred the bank to 16% early gains. They didn’t last. BofA ended up 9% and was one of the few winners as U.S. stocks declined through the day. A miss on U.S. jobless claims and trouble in Europe reminded investors that the economy sucks.
  • When Bernanke speaks tomorrow at 10 ET, plenty of financial gurus don’t expect him to say much. Nevertheless everyone is prepared for a big market reaction. People will also watch tomorrow’s big speech from ECB Chief Jean Claude-Trichet.
  • Potentially the biggest hurricane in years will reach America tomorrow. It is expected to reach the Northeast, where New Jersey has declared a state of emergency and New York City has prepared for possible evacuations.
  • Don’t miss: 8 Management Secrets I Learned From Steve Jobs >