Market Recap: Merkel Mashes Markets 2%, IBM Misses

Markets closed down on Wall Street today: Dow -2.13%, S&P -1.94%, Nasdaq -1.98%, Oil -0.55%, Gold -0.53%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) slipped to $86.32 a barrel. Precious metals were also up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) dropped to $1,672 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) ticked down 0.09% to $32.11.

Hot Feature: Tim Cook Basks in the Sunlight of Success.

Today’s markets were down because:

1) Germany. Friday gave investors a huge rally on hope for more defined bailout plans for the EU, yet this morning German (NYSE:EWG) Chancellor Angela Merkel, remarked that “dreams that are taking hold again now that with this package everything will be solved and everything will be over on Monday won’t be able to be fulfilled.” She added that ways to end the crisis “surely extends well into next year.” Oops. That’s not what the market wanted to hear. This issue continues to be the gravitational pole for markets.

2) Bank Earnings. Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) announced earnings this morning. Investors first cheered Citi’s data, but later sold the stock after a deeper look confirmed banks are making most of their money from accounting tricks. What else do you expect from financial engineers?

3) Apple. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) delivered one of the lone bright spots for investors today. The company confirmed it sold 4,000,000 iPhone 4S devices over the first 3-day period — a new record. Unfortunately, after-hours IBM (NYSE:IBM) and VMWare (NYSE:VMW) missed Wall Street expectations. The news is sure to have a negative impact on tech tomorrow.

BONUS: IBM Earnings Cheat Sheet: Positive Earnings Streak.