Summary Box: Stocks plunge on euro crisis fears

AP News
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Posted: Dec 12, 2011 4:34 PM
Summary Box: Stocks plunge on euro crisis fears

TWO THUMBS DOWN: Stocks fell Monday as two big credit rating agencies criticized a deal between European leaders last week that is aimed at easing the region's debt crisis. Fitch said the deal to bind Europe's budgets more closely will make little difference, and predicted a deep recession there. Moody's said it will reconsider the ratings of all European Union nations in the first quarter of 2012.

STOCKS PLUNGE: Investors delivered a negative verdict as well, sending stocks sharply lower all day. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 163 points.

WHAT'S MISSING: The deal gives a central European authority more power to punish nations that overspend. That might prevent a future crisis, but it doesn't address Europe's immediate problem: some countries' crushing debt loads and spiraling borrowing costs.