Today was the polar opposite of yesterday. A lot of stuff happened.

But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: +154.70
NASDAQ: +19.88
S&P 500: 17.77

And now the top stories:

  • Remember, yesterday there was no news, as markets on both sides of the Atlantic awaited new developments on their respective debt situations. Today there were developments.
  • Let’s take Europe first. Whether it will work or not, Greece got a new deal that will see it get a totally new bailout, lower interest rates, less debt (thanks to private sector haircuts) and some kind of vague “Marshall Plan” to restore growth. Reports of a deal first surfaced late on Wednesday, and the euro has basically been on a rocket-ride ever since then, experiencing several spurts just today. The last one came late in the day (around 3:00 PM ET) when Sarkozy announced the establishment of a European Monetary Fund designed to help banks recapitalize, and which can buy sovereign debt on the secondary market. Bottom line: bailouts! Click here to see the 20 banks that are praying for the bailout to work out >
  • In the morning in the US there was nothing going on on the debt fonts until early in the afternoon where a slew of fresh headlines hit about there being a deal in the works between Obama and Boehner. Both parties immediately denied, but there’s definitely something going on, the idea being. The gist is basically this: Trillions of dollars is spending cuts over the next several years, no real revenue plans, and then Obama has to bully Democrats into taking it. We shall see. Markets seemed to like that news, too. Click here to see how the flurry of news and rumours went down >
  • Outside of the political news, there was a fair amount of data today, must of which was mediocre. Flash ISM reports across the eurozone were mostly bad. China’s was also bad. Initial claims in the US were a touch disappointing. On the other hand, the Philly Fed was better than expectations. When all this debt ceiling nonsense gets worked out (knock on wood) we need to quickly refocus on the bad economic situation. All this stuff has been an unfortunate (and perhaps dangerous) distraction.
  • In terms of earnings, the big one this morning was Morgan Stanley, which delivered much better results than Goldman Sachs, causing the stock to surge. Conversely Intel fell after last night’s earnings. Microsoft earnings are out after the ball.
  • Regarding the US debt… Click here for a guide to who really owns it all >

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at