Motorcycle crash

Photo: AP

At least for a day the dip-buyers went on strike, and stocks fell.But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: -184.78
NASDAQ: -78.80
S&P 500: -28.45

And now, the top stories:

  • In a very real sense, today’s move in the stock market was just a delayed reaction to what every other market went through yesterday, when the market was closed. On Monday European markets tanked, and oil, gold, and silver went nuts. The world is transfixed by the ongoing disaster in Libya, and after a rally that’s been ridiculously complacent, steady, and strong, there’s plenty of room to fall. Italy was a gigantic loser on Monday, thanks to its close economic ties with Libya.
  • Monday’s ugly action seeped into markets again on Tuesday. Shanghai had its worst one-day performance in three months. Korea got whacked thanks to the same issues (not to mention banking industry stresses). 
  • In Europe the situation was bloody. Again, more Libya, and for the first several hours of the day there was simply no trading in Italy thanks to a glitch.
  • US futures were ugly from the early going. rumours about delays to Apple’s iPad 2 (later refuted) caused all of the NASDAQ to dive. Amazon’s introduction of a Netflix-killer stung.
  • There were two big economic datapoints. First was the Case-Shiller, which was horrible, but predictably so. January consumer confidence was hot, and it briefly looked like the dip buyers were returning. If you live in one of these 11 cities, your house just hit a new low >
  • Then the oil market got some relief. There were reports of Gaddafi handing over some buyer, and some helpful comments from the Saudis.
  • But then Gaddafi took the mic, and basically promised genocide to his own people if they continued to revolt. Oil gained.
  • And in the end, the US stocks got totally trashed. Gold had a good day, and that was about it. Agriculture got totally killed.
  • For interesting reading, see Willem Buiter’s new report on 3G countries >

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