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Photo: ap

Thank Twitter-borne rumours of Qaddafi’s death for the fact that markets totally didn’t get crushed today.But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: -39.13
NASDAQ: +16.16
S&P 500: -1.03

And now, the top stories:

  • The “day” really started around 2:00 AM ET, when oil exploded higher in London trading. It was a vicious move, which sent instantly sent US futures sharply lower. The dollar got clubbed as well.
  • (Rewinding for a moment, it was a generally bad day in Asia, with India, once again, taking the most abuse).
  • Other than the fact that generally markets were down, Europe was fairly quiet.
  • In the US the talk was oil, oil, oil. Everyone had something to say the impact of rising oil on the US economy, and the effect it would have on the consumer. Qaddafi spoke pre-market and sounded insane again.
  • Futures were clearly lower in the very early going. Mediocre earnings from Target and GM didn’t help at all. But then a strong initial claims report did help modestly.
  • Still, stocks were down all day until just after 2:00 PM ET, when an apparently Twitter-borne rumour started making the rounds that Qaddafi had been shot! There was no basis for it, but oil simply collapsed. It helped that around the same time there was talk of the US cracking open its Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Markets turned around violently on the news. Gold and silver slid as well.
  • And that was basically it.
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