It was almost a perfect replay of last Thursday… just a little lighter. Major commodities got killed. Stocks fell, but less so, and Treasuries had a big rally.
But first, the scoreboard:
S&P 500: -14.62
And now, the top stories:
- Things got off to a quiet enough start. Japan rallied. China came out with some inflation data that was a tad hotter than expected, but there was nothing rocking the boat too much. In fact, commodities gained through the night, with silver breaking back above $39/oz.
- Europe saw its slew of headlines. The biggest news came from Greece, where there was a total, general strike that shutdown the country for hours. Ironically, the Athens market had a huge rally. Nothing too big happened on the sovereign debt or market front, although the euro did eventually plunge.
- In the US, there was one major piece of economic news: The March trade gap came in worse than expected, although exports hit a brand new record high.
- That news didn’t seem to major, but that’s when the selling really started getting going. And then as the day wore on, the selling got more aggressive, and your old standby commodities — silver and oil — got destroyed again. Gasoline futures are also diving, which means that in theory prices at the pump should be coming down fairly soon.
- Though not market related, the huge headline of the day was the Raj verdict. The ex-Galleon chief was found guilty on all 14 counts, and now faces over 15 years in Prison. Click here to see images of today’s action >
- Meanwhile, there was a gigantic rally across the yield curve, delivering even more pain to the nascent army of “bond vigilantes” who have tried shorting Treasuries.
- On the corporate scene, with one of the standout losers in RenRen, the recent Chinese social networking IPO. It’s now below its IPO price. Rare earth darling MolyCorp got killed, and Cisco earnings are after the bell (they’re out, and the stock is lower).
- For some deep thoughts, here’s Whitney Tilson’s latest presentation >