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Just another Manic Monday…But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: +68.38
NASDAQ: +27.15
S&P 500 +8.04

And now the top stories:

  • With very little news or data in the US, it was all Europe all the time for American markets today. This weekend saw rapid developments on Greece. On the plus side, you had the country’s leadership commit to ongoing economic reforms, signifying no plans for an imminent default. On the other hand, you had more headlines about Germany preparing for a Greek default, and praying that it could be done in an orderly manner. By the time markets opened late on Sunday, it was clear that the consensus was that Greece was toast.
  • The big losers right away were European banks, with several of the biggies (SocGen et. al.) falling over 10%. Major equity indices were off over 3.5%. Things got really ugly when, just after 7:30 AM ET, there was a report about a nuclear explosion in France. After that the CAC-40 was down around 5%, and US indices were indicated to open off over 2.2%.
  • But all hell didn’t break loose. The nuke explosion turned out to be insignificant. Then not long after, Jean-Claude Trichet indicated that the Troika was likely to approve the next tranche of Greek aid. Now, bear in mind that this doesn’t even come close to ending the drama. This aid tranche is the last of the first bailout, but the bigger question is whether Greece will get its big second bailout, which needs to be approved by the other Eurozone governments. This helped the market come back, and by the time the opening bell came, stocks were only down less than 1%.
  • Also around this time, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan was giving his presentation on streamlining BofA and that gave the stock a tiny lift. Later it delivered the bad news that it was officially going to can 30,000 employees. Click here for why Moynihan is still the wrong man for the job >
  • Then the macro-madness came again just before 3:00 PM, when Bloomberg ran a headline, citing the FT, that Italy was in talks with China to sell debt (a quasi-bailout!). Now granted, we’ve had these China headlines before and they haven’t done anything, but stocks surged. But then there was a twist, failing to find the story anywhere online, some began to wonder whether the FT story was actually real. Stocks dove amid the confusion. And then! The story was confirmed as being in existence by the FT, and we got the big comeback that we did.
  • So there you have it: Stocks ended where they did with a big late-day surge. The big loser: gold, which was down some $44/oz on the day. What’s notable is that was getting creamed in the early going, even when stocks were way down.
  • Now click here for a guide to who gets smashed if Greece goes bust >

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