oil saudi oilfield

Wild start to the month!

But first the scoreboard:

Dow: -166.33
NASDAQ: -44.74
S&P 500: -20.12

And now the top stories:

  • Today actually started out promising. The first thing we noted early on was that markets around the world were rallying. India had a huge night.
  • Things got really frightening though, as the Saudi market began a stomach-clenching plunge. First it was down 1%. Then 3%. Then 5%. Then nearly 8% at one point. There were rumours that there were riots in the kingdom. Then there were reports of tanks being sent to Bahrain. Then later it seemed, perhaps, that the arrest of a Shiite cleric sparked the panic. Either way, it’s getting harder and harder to insist that Saudi is too rich/oppressive to collapse.
  • As the Saudi panic spread, the money flowed into oil, gold, and silver, which had great days.
  • And of course, this wasn’t at all helpful to US equities, which took the drubbing noted above.
  • There wasn’t too much corporate news today. Everyone’s pretty excited about Wednesday’s iPad 2 announced. Las Vegas sands got crushed on news of an investigation into bribery.
  • At 10 we got a decent ISM report, but it was basically bang-on with expectations, and perhaps there was some home that it would be better, since most regional Fed surveys have been stronger. Naturally, the closely-watched “prices paid” component jumped.
  • In the afternoon we got word that the US was sending two amphibious warships to the region. There was also a Swedish report of a big explosion in Benghazi.
  • Click here to see pictures of ship heading to Libya right now >

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