Photo: Nathan O’Nions via Flickr

Stocks staged a big comeback late in the day after a terrible day for European equities and sour news out of Best Buy. But first, your scoreboard:Dow: 13,147, +21 pts, +0.16%
NASDAQ: 3,095, -10 pts, -0.31%
S&P 500: 1,403, -2 pts, -0.16%

Here are your top stories:

  • Asian markets saw red during the trading session. The Hang Seng fell 1.32 per cent and the Shanghai Composite dropped 1.44 per cent, building upon losses from earlier this week. The Nikkei fell 0.67 per cent, despite a 3.7 per cent jump in retail sales.
  • European shares also got creamed, with banks leading the way—particularly in Italy. The Italian FTSE MIB tanked a full 3.33 per cent, the German DAX closed down 1.77 per cent, and the CAC 40 fell 1.33 per cent. PRESENTING: The 10 Ominous Signs That Will Portend Another Spring Stock Market Sell-Off >
  • Best Buy led sour U.S. market sentiment early, missing revenue expectations and announcing plans to close 50 stateside big box locations. The store’s revenue grew by three per cent to $16.6 billion, missing analyst projections of $17.15 billion. Revenue would actually have fallen had there not been an extra week in the company’s fiscal calendar.
  • Initial jobless claims fell to 359K from 364K last week. This disappointed analyst expectations, which were for 350K, however upward revisions to last week’s number explained some of the miss.
  • The third and final revision to fourth quarter GDP confirmed that the economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.0 per cent quarter-over-quarter. This disappointed some analysts who thought we could see a big upward revision in the data. Manufacturing data from the Kansas City Fed also missed expectations, with economic activity expanding at just 9 on the index versus a predicted 13.
  • Spanish trade unions led a general strike today protesting new economic reforms. While Madrid appeared to be the seat of the most massive demonstrations, young protesters set fire to tires and vehicles in the streets of Barcelona. SPAIN IS THE NEW GREECE: And This Time It’s Big Enough To Matter… >
  • Russia sold gold for the first time in five years, according to the latest IMF data. The country earned an estimated $200 million by selling 3.8 tonnes of gold. The 10 Countries With The Biggest Gold Reserves In The World >
  • BONUS: Here Are The Most Disgusting, Disturbing Things Idiot Frat Brothers Do During Dartmouth Hazing >

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