Stocks Opened Sharply Lower on Debt Worries

Stocks opened sharply lower on Monday as talks to raise the debt ceiling hit another stalemate and the threat of a U.S. rating downgrade and potential default intensified. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 117.46 points to 12,563.70. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index shed 11.30 points to 1,333.723. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 20.04 points to 2,838.79.

Republicans and Democrats prepared dueling plans for raising the U.S. debt ceiling, unable to break a partisan stalemate over how to tackle the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt and quell market concerns about a potential default Aug. 2.

Moody’s downgraded Greece’s bond ratings by a further three notches Monday and warned that it is almost inevitable the country will be considered to be in default following last week’s new bailout package.

Eaton Corp.’s second-quarter earnings rose 49% as the diversified manufacturer continued to benefit from a recovery in automotive production. The company raised its full-year guidance for the second time, projecting earnings of $3.90 to $4.10 a share, up from its April forecast of $3.70 to $4. It also forecast current-quarter earnings of $1.03 to $1.13 a share.

Six Flags Entertainment Corp. on Monday posted a second-quarter profit and a 5 percent revenue increase as more people were admitted to its theme parks and spent more on amenities. Six Flags reported net income of nearly $35 million, or 62 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30. Its revenue grew 5 percent to $338.7 million from $321.3 million in the year-ago period.

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