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Tons of tons of news today, all of which conspired to prompt a huge relief rally after several days of drubbing.But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: +192.31
NASDAQ: +58.79
S&P 500: 20.17

And now, the top stories:

  • All the news was in America today (for the most part), and after several days of worried action, stocks finally exploded higher in relief.
  • The big story: THE GRAND BARGAIN is back on the table. Just when it looked like the only hope of raising the debt ceiling was the piddly McConnell escape hatch, the Senate’s so-called “Gang Of Six” came back and unveiled a new outline for cutting the deficit. Suddenly, a plan that not only raises the debt ceiling, but also cuts a lot of spending is back on the table. The market loved the news.
  • There were also a lot of earnings to digest: Most of them good. IBM did a big 5% up-move, adding a ton of Dow points, after it reported strong results. Mosaic also rallied after last night’s numbers.
  • On the flipside: Bank of America fell more after it reported mediocre earnings, and Goldman totally laid an egg, falling over 1% after it reported miserable trading revenue. The good news is that the stock was much lower early on. Also on the earnings front: Apple (where, it’s being reported, Steve Jobs succession planning is underway) is reporting after the bell. Click here to see 15 reasons you don’t want to work at Goldman Sachs >
  • Another big corporate winner: News Corp. shares had a big bounceback rally, as its CEO Rupert Murdoch testified in front of Parliament unscathed.
  • In the US, there was one notable datapoint: Housing starts for June came in way stronger than expected.
  • Meanwhile, Europe is getting ready for a big meeting on Thursday, where the fate of Greece (and perhaps other peripheral countries) hang in the balance.
  • Something else notable about this market. While for the most part the macro indicators flashed their typical RISK ON behaviour (stocks up, gold down, Swiss Franc down), Treasuries surged. A lot of folks took notice.
  • For some fun reading, check out Steve Wynn’s amazing anti-Obama rant from his earnings call last night >

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