DOWNGRADE THREATS: World markets sank overnight after Standard & Poor's said it might downgrade 15 nations that use the euro, including AAA-rated Germany. S&P also threatened to downgrade Europe's main bailout fund, which is propping up weak nations such as Greece and Portugal.
LITTLE CHANGE: Stocks appeared stuck in neutral for much of the day. The Dow Jones industrial average rose slightly, while other indicators were mixed.
RALLY FIZZLES: The market gained momentum in the final hours of trading after a report that Europe might deploy the existing bailout fund and a new fund at the same time, effectively doubling its ability to rescue struggling nations. They drifted back closer to earlier levels by the time the market closed.