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A total reversal from yesterday.But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: -96.04
NASDAQ: -15.30
S&P 500: -10.23

And now the top stories:

  • The day was dominated by two stories: Libya and the Non-Farm Payrolls report. First we’ll talk payrolls.
  • After three straight months of massive disappointment, we FINALLY got a solid number — 192K net new jobs created — that was bang-on in line with expectations. It’s not amazing, but the unemployment rate fell below 9.0%, so The White House will take it. Naturally, there were some internals that weren’t so hot, including the continued exodus of folks from the workforce.
  • Despite the decent report, stocks went negative on the news. They had been positive, partly on hopes of a total lights-out smash report, and that obviously didn’t materialise.
  • Stock-wise it was another ugly. Among the big losers today were Goldman Sachs and Citi which were the victim of a well-publicised downgrade from Bank of America. Outside of that, gold and silver had huge days. And of course, oil went nuts, which ties into the other big story of the day: Libya.
  • The theme of the day in Libya was counterstrike. Qaddafi is ratcheting up the aggression against the rebels, bombing various strongholds. There is a fierce battle in the town of Ras Lanuf, as conflicting reports indicated that both pro- and anti-Qaddafi forces controlled the city at one point.
  • Qaddafi is digging in. This won’t end soon, and that’s part of the reason oil had such a good day. What’s more, next week should see even more tension, as Saudi Arabia’s “day of rage” is scheduled for the 11th (Friday).
  • Click here to see a list of countries likely to collapse next >

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