OMG! STOCKS CLOSE LOWER: Here's What You Need To Know

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What happened?! Stocks closed marginally lower… something’s not right.First, the scoreboard:

Dow: -21.93
NASDAQ: +7.99
S&P 500: _2.26

And now the top stories:

  • It really was a veeeery quiet day from yesterday evening until the end of US trading today. To refresh your memory, yesterday was a bulletproof day, as stocks and the dollar and industrial commodities rose, while gold fell.
  • In Asia, really not very much happened.
  • Europe was more exciting. The euro got hammered. Yields blew wider. A draft report about making bondholders eventually taking haircuts “roiled” markets, as they say.
  • In the US stocks were higher in the pre-market, but the data was kind of a bummer. The initial jobless claims number that was sub-400K jumped up a bit. And retailers posted a slew of disappointing December numbers, which goes against the conventional wisdom about how amazing December was. Macy’s, The Gap, and Target were among the big losers.
  • But the selling never really accelerated too hard, and we got the downish, mixed-ish close we got today. A big winner: The dollar.
  • Of course, all eyes are on the big jobs report. Here’s a preview of that >
  • For some interesting reading, here’s HSBC on what the world will look like in 2050 >

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