Photo: kstrebor on flickr
For the second day in a row, stocks managed to squeeze out gains, despite headline risk out the wazoo.But first, the scoreboard:
S&P 500: +4.95
And now, the top stories:
- First of all, obviously the crisis at the nuke plant was the big story. For the latest details see here, but the long story short is that nothing much has really changed since Wednesday. This weekend will be huge, though, for connecting the power lines and turning those machines back on.
- Then the other story that dominates everything is the continuing crisis in the Middle East and North Africa. There were protests in Syria, a massacre in Yemen, a torn down roundabout in Bahrain, and Muammar Qaddafi pulled a stunt (announcing a ceasefire) that surprised everyone. So basically it was just your typical day.
- Market-wise, the day really began yesterday evening right before 8, when news of the coordinated G-7 intervention leaked. The yen tanked, and markets surged throughout the world, including a really healthy advance in S&P futures.
- Nothing too eventful happened overnight. In the very early hours US time, China announced another 50 basis point hike in the reserve requirement ratio. Between that and all the G7 currency manipulation stuff, gold had a good day.
- At times today the market wavered, but the bulls were able to hang on throughout the whole time.
- On the corporate front, it wasn’t all that active. Bank shares got a nice bid when the Fed confirmed that it would be allowing banks to buy back stocks and hike dividends. Goldman announced plans to buy back Warren Buffett’s preferred shares. Cisco also announced a dividend. Early on there was some Apple weakness, as traders spread baseless rumours about Steve Jobs’ health.
- And that’s that. It’s going to be a huge weekend for MENA, the Super Moon (Lunar Perigee, for you snoots), and of course all eyes will be on the power plant.
- Click here for a look at the next 16 nuke plants that will be built in your backyard >