It could have been a real disaster today!

But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: -53.16
NASDAQ: +18.46
S&P 500: -3.14

And now, the top stories:

  • So much news today, almost none of it good, starting yesterday with yesterday’s Bernanke comments about there being no QE3 on the horizon. That really got things going. It cut short yesterday’s rally, and lead to a huge dollar surge.
  • Then last night, there were reports about the Greek austerity deal being in trouble, thanks to a “hole” in the projections, and the fact that the new Greek FinMin is making enemies of everyone else in Europe. The dollar rallied more.
  • The morning in Europe was a total mess. Portuguese and Irish yields blew out to new records. Equity indices continued to fall. A major Greek union announced a big general strike on the same day as the upcoming austerity vote.
  • (Meanwhile, PMI data in both China and Europe was bad)
  • In the US, there were more unhelpful headlines. Initial claims were ugly. The Chicago Fed index was mediocre, and the big one: The debt ceiling negotiations have collapsed, as we inch ever closer to that drop-dead day August 2.
  • At 9:00 AM ET, the IEA dropped a huge shocker: The US and other countries would be opening their strategic petroleum reserves. Oil had already been dropping, and this just made the selling more aggressive. Naturally Obama was slammed for using “emergency” reserves during a period of merely tight supply. Big oil companies got crushed.
  • Early on, the Dow was down 200 points.
  • And yet… the markets were amazingly resilient. The NASDAQ actually closed green on a big rally in tech. Apple, which has been laggy lately, was a big gainer. The Russell 2000 had a shockingly strong day as well.
  • Late in the day: Markets caught a bid on news that the Greek government had agreed to a deal on austerity with the EU, but it really isn’t that important, since the real hurdle is the austerity voting. Still, it helped ease the pain a little bit.
  • Click here for a guide on who would get hit in a Greek collapse >

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