Thursday night in the US - Friday morning in the People's Republic of China - all eyes were glued to the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE), to see whether Chinese authorities' plan to suspend their rules on circuit breakers - a fifteen minute pause on a 5% loss, and closing for the day should a 7% loss occur - would hold stocks up or allow massive dumping of overpriced equities.
Disappointing many who would relish the thought of a worldwide collapse of the global stock Ponzi scheme, Chinese traders showed great restraint and state-owned companies bought equities on a wholesale basis, averting a rout in the market by posting a gain of nearly two percent.
It didn't do much good to support the overwhelming narrative of the mainstream press in Europe and the United States, as shares across the continent fell by 1.5% on average across the largest bourses, and the FTSE 100 in Great Britain shedding 0.70%.
In the US, hopes were high when the BLS announced a non-farm payroll increase of 292,000 jobs for December, above even the most aggressive estimates.
The markets didn't care.
Stocks showed modest gains across the three major averages at the open, but the narrative - and the indices - failed to produce positive results. By the end of Friday's session, the S&P joined the Dow and NASDAQ in correction territory, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average showing one of the worst weekly performances of all time, mirroring the collapse in August by shedding over 1000 points.
It was a horrific start to the new year, with the major averages shedding more than 6% on the week, the Dow posting triple-digit losses on four of the five days, the NASDAQ dropping by more than 7%.
The results for the week were downright depressing, the worst weekly start to a new year in the history of US exchanges:
S&P 500: -121.94 (-5.97)
Dow: -1079.12 (-6.19)
NASDAQ: -363.78 (-7.26)
On the day:
S&P 500: 1,922.02, -21.07 (1.08%)
Dow: 16,346.18, -167.92 (1.02%)
NASDAQ: 4,643.63, -45.79 (0.98%)
Crude Oil 33.09 -0.54% Gold 1,102.30 -0.50% EUR/USD 1.0921 -0.01% 10-Yr Bond 2.13 -1.07% Corn 356.25 +0.92% Copper 2.02 -0.25% Silver 13.94 -2.82% Natural Gas 2.49 +4.53% Russell 2000 1,048.78 -1.48% VIX 26.08 +4.36% BATS 1000 20,550.58 -1.01% GBP/USD 1.4524 -0.69% USD/JPY 117.51 -0.12%