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Markets turn red as Greece, Portugal are downgraded

This article was posted on Apr 27, 2010 and is filed under Market News

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are following European markets lower after Portugal’s debt was downgraded, deepening fears that Europe’s debt problems are spreading.

Standard & Poor’s slashed Portugal’s credit rating Tuesday, sending stocks sharply lower across Europe. S&P also downgraded Greece’s debt.

Investors have been on edge about Greece’s fiscal crisis, and have worried that Portugal could be the next weak European economy to require help. That has undermined confidence in Europe’s shared currency, the euro.

The Dow Jones industrial average is down 145.86, or 1.3 percent, at 11,059.17. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is down 19.79, or 1.6 percent, at 1,192.26, while the Nasdaq composite index is down 35.91, or 1.4 percent, at 2,487.04.

Stocks fell early in the day after European shares tumbled on new concerns about Greece’s ability to tap a bailout package to help relieve its debt troubles. Greece has to make a new round of payments on debt on May 19 and there are now questions about whether the country will get access to bailout money before then.

The dollar rose against the euro as investors worry that debt problems in Greece and some of the 15 other countries that use the currency will upend an economic rebound on the continent.

Most Asian markets fell on concerns that Chinese regulators will try to slow the country’s supercharged economic growth. The government has been trying to slow the country’s real estate market in hopes of avoiding a speculative bubble.

source: Yahoo Finance

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