Stocks Rally, The Dollar Tanks, And Gold Goes Totally Nuts: Here's What You Need To Know

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Well. Stocks gained today. We’re not sure if anyone feels very good about the rally however.But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: 46.10
NASDAQ: 9.82
S&P 500: 5.54

And now, the top stories of the day:

  • The day started off fairly ugly in Asia. Japan slide on more dithering at the BoJ, as the yen creeps steadily higher. Remember that big intervention? It’s almost gone. Chinese shares fell over 1%.
  • After a day off, Europe was once again hit with about of the Irish Flu. S&P came out with a high pricetag on the Anglo Irish bailout, and warned that the whole thing threatened the finances of Ireland itself. Irish bond spreads blew out and stocks tanked. Suffice to say, this crisis seems far from over, and there’s more and more chatter about Ireland being another Greece.
  • And yet! The Euro actually rallied pretty hard today, breaking through $1.35. Apparently everyone’s betting on Bernanke to be victorious in this game of competitive currency devaluation. Speaking of which, have you heard that at least 12 countries have intervened to weaken their currencies in the last week? It’s true. This is what the Brazilian finance minister mean when he talked about a currency war.
  • The dollar slide set the tone throughout the day, we saw big gains the aforementioned yen and euro and most importantly GOLD! The One True Currency blasted above $1300, setting into a new level of around $1310.
  • Equities dithered back and forth. Case-Shiller numbers at 9:00 basically showed housing trudging along, but the news wasn’t market moving. Neither were weak numbers from the Richmond Fed.
  • Today featured some very weird trading in shares of Apple, which dove hard right out of the gate, then had another fall. There were rumours early on that COO Tim Cook could be heading to HP, though Cook denied the reports. Given that we saw a mini “flash crash” in shares of Progress Energy yesterday, there was some concern that maybe we were seeing a repeat of this, as confidence in the robustness of markets continues to wane. The market is also trying to digest the impact of the iPad’s new competitor, the PlayBook from Research in Motion, the maker of the Blackberry.
  • But anyway, who’s really complaining? Stocks just ended at a 4.5 month high.
  • One other thing. Meredith Whitney came on TV late in the day and did her gloom thing, this time focusing on state finances. It didn’t move markets.

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