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Talk of more juice from Fed saved the Dow from a historic 9-day losing streak, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the early 70s.But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: +38.22
NASDAQ: +26.00
S&P 500: +7.05

And now, the top stories:

  • With the debt deal over, the focus turns (finally!) to the ongoing crisis in Europe, and the worsening economy in the US. In Europe, there wasn’t much new in terms of developments. The main thing that gave markets a bit of an early lift was an emergency rate cut by the Swiss National Bank in the hopes of stemming the meteoric rise of the Swiss Franc. Nobody really expects it to work.
  • Other than that, it was just more selling of Italian stocks, mostly. PM Silvio Berlusconi addressed the Italian parliament today, but didn’t really say anything. Mainly he just slammed speculators for not understanding how strong the Italian economy was. We’ll see if the lack of specificity causes more pain tomorrow. Overall, a bad day. Click here for a guide to how Italy got to be such a wreck >
  • All of this helped gold have another monster day, as it hit new records.
  • In the US, with earnings season fading into the distance, it’s all data data data. And on that point, it was decidedly underwhelming today, if not straight up bad. At 7:30, the Challenger layoffs report showed a HUGE surge in job eliminations in July. At 8:15 the ADP jobs report was a bit better than expectations (but its ADP!) and at 10:00 the ISM services number was in growth territory, but down from last month, and below expectations.
  • After all the data, markets really started getting smashed, with the Dow off 150 at one point. Then it bounced back! Then it tanked again! And then a story hit the wires about how some ex-Fed officials would likely favour QE3 (if inflation readings come down) and just that magic acronym immediately gave a lift to stocks.
  • The one-day rebound aside, what’s really remarkable is how gloomy things have become on the turn of a dime. Suddenly people are talking in really panicked tones about what’s happening in the economy. The combination of the Italy stuff and the stimulus-free US economy really has people freaked out, talking about the 1930s, and the second big leg of the Great Depression.
  • For a great roundup of where the economy is right now, see this presentation >

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