Retail Sales were up but worse than expected (.4% vs .7% expected and .0% previous); Business Inventories (.4% vs .5% expected and .3% previous); Goldman Same Store Sales (-2% vs 1.8% previous) and, for what it's worth NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business Optimism Index) was reported (93.9 vs 95 expected and 93.8 previous). Investors found eurozone issues and economic data wanting and sold stocks Tuesday.
With the market sharply lower suddenly HFT driven buy programs were unleashed at 3:30 PM. A Reuters report stated that Antonis Samaras is "expected" to deliver a letter of commitment to the country's international lenders on Wednesday. It doesn't take much when volume is light to manipulate prices. And, no, you can't make this stuff up! Ahem, so stocks closed slightly higher on the day making up large losses in the last 30 minutes.