First, the scoreboard. Note things were a lot worse at one point — even with just an hour to go before the close:
- Dow: -163
- S&P: -22
- NASDAQ: -49
Now the top stories:
- There were three big comments that spooked investors over the last 24 hours. The first was the CEO of Deutsche Bank saying Greece may not be able to repay its loans. The second was Volcker predicting the end of the euro. The third were the alleged comments from Sarkozy about France threatening to pull out of the Eurozone. All contributed to major nerves today in the markets.
- All European markets were hammered, but the real standouts were Spain, Italy, and France. European bank shares all got crushed, as CDS widened.
- Gold started out strong, but investors dumped it for the safety of cash early on. The yen also had an amazing day.
- Obama hammered BP (BP), Transocean (RIG), and Halliburton (HAL) for their finger pointing in front of Congress this week. The flow continues unabated.
- California is announcing “absolutely terrible” budget cuts right at the close of trading.
- Despite the ructions in the European market, things were relatively calm in the Streets. That was not the case in Bangkok were violence escalated, with reports indicating that at least 10 people are dead.
- A sure sign of fear that investors are de-risking ahead of a possible slowdown and protracted deflation: Oil is now below $72. A few days ago we were talking about it hitting $90.