Photo: Philo Nordlund via Flickr
Sure, stocks were down, but it really it was a comeback from the lows of the day:First, the scoreboard:
S&P 500: -14.48
And now, the top stories:
- Japanese stocks dived for the second straight day at the open Tuesday morning, but things really got crazy when PM Naoto Kan gave a really grim speech to the nation about the nuclear situation during the tea break. That’s when all hell broke loose financially. After initially diving 6%, Nikkei futures fell by as much as 16% (!!) at one point. Market all around the world tumbled hard, in grand, unified crash fashion.
- Suddenly the idea that Tokyo might become overrun by radiation in a meltdown worse than Chernobyl felt very real. It didn’t help that actually there were radiation readings found in Tokyo. Anecdotes spread that people were boarding bullet trains to hightail it out of the Japanese capital.
- In the end, Japan fell only 10.5%. In the very early going, there were some hopeful headlines about perhaps having stemmed the radiation spewage. At around 3:30 AM, global markets started to rally a little bit.
- However, any gain from that didn’t last long, and the tumble really began aggressively heading into the eary action in the US. At one point, Dow futures were looking down about 300 points. and that was basically the scene for much of the day in the US.
- The entire world hung on the latest releases of news from Kyodo Wire. It was almost all bad news everytime there was a new development about the power plant.
- But then the markets began to rally a little bit heading into the 2:15 Fed announcement. Then we got the Fed announcement, and it didn’t really offer anything, but the comeback continued.
- Perhaps most amazingly, the Japan ETF — EWJ — made a huge comeback, at one point going into the green on the day.
- The other huge story of the day was the situation in Bahrain which seriously threatens to create regional war between Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Remarkably, despite heightening of tensions on that front, oil slid hard. Qaddafi also continued to consolidate his grip on power. Other commodities got crushed as well. Gold and silver fell hard.
- To continue following the latest from Fukushima, see here >