Stocks Opened Sharply Lower

U.S. stocks start off sharply lower on Tuesday, taking cues from Greece-inspired selling in Frankfurt and Paris. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 235.37 points to 11,719.64. The S&P 500 Index shed 28.25 points to 1,225.05. The Nasdaq Composite declined 59.93 points to 2,624.48.

The world’s most powerful political leaders will gather this week in France to chart a course for the global economy as the outlook for growth remains fraught with risks. The two-day Group of 20 summit kicks off Thursday in Cannes, with Europe’s sovereign debt and banking crisis expected to dominate behind-the-scenes talks.

Federal regulators have discovered that hundreds of millions of dollars in customer money has gone missing from MF Global in recent days, prompting an investigation into the company’s operations as it filed for bankruptcy on Monday.

Oil prices fell below $91 a barrel Tuesday as the initial optimism about Europe’s plan to resolve its debt crisis faded, dragging down stock markets and weakening the euro. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for December delivery was down $2.53 at $90.66 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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