Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Ugly day, but arguably it could have been uglier!But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: -93.02
NASDAQ: -24.10
S&P 500: -10.67

And now, the top stories:

  • There are really three stories that everyone’s focused on right now: Europe, earnings, and the debt ceiling fight. First, in Europe, there weren’t many “new developments” per se, except that the crisis rages on, with investors training their focus sharply on Italy, dumping stocks (banks in particular) and bonds. Everyone’s waiting for some kind of Greece resolution (it needs a whole new bailout soon), and without that fear is running amok. Even with it, it’s hard to imagine the crisis ending. Click here for the story of how Italy got to be such a mess >
  • In the US, officially, there’s no movement on the debt ceiling fight, although there is a hope that after the House votes on a Balanced Budget Amendment, that the compromise plan being worked out in the Senate can go forward. There’s no guarantee, and there won’t be for several more days.
  • Both the European situation and the US debt ceiling fiasco pose a major risk for banks, and so not surprisingly they got really hammered today. Bank of America was a huge loser, as it’s been diving for a while, and got hit by reports that it may need to raise another $50 BILLION in equity. Other big financial firms fell as well.
  • Nothing could escape the market’s wrath today. All 10 S&P sectors fell. The second biggest loser, following, financials, was industrials, which were down 1.43%.
  • On the corporate front, the run really begins tomorrow, with Apple earnings. There was a report about Research in Motion killing its tablet. And News Corp. tanked again, as hackinggate continues to spread out of control in England, while threatening to skip the pond. Not surprisingly, gold and silver had huge days, amid a flight to precious metals. 

In the end, although stocks did end down, they came back from their lows of the day.

  • For some more insight into the market, check out this survey of huge investors >

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