Stocks Fall as Mood Darkens

U.S. stocks move sharply lower on  Monday after Moody’s Investors Service said  it planed to review the credit ratings of countries in the euro zone. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 229.47 points to 11,954.79. The S&P 500 Indexshed 26.05 points to 1,229.14. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 49.44 points to 2,597.41.

Enthusiasm for riskier assets such as stocks and the euro faded Monday as investors worried that Europe’s new pact aimed at fixing the continent’s debt crisis would be insufficient.

Last week’s EU summit went a long way towards forging the closer economic ties needed to prevent future debt crises but markets are likely to judge it as too little and too late to solve the current one.

Bank takeovers should face deeper scrutiny and directors be more accountable for their actions, Britain’s finance watchdog said in a long-awaited report into Royal Bank of Scotland’s (LSE:RBS.L) near collapse.

Greece began a round of talks with the EU, the IMF and bankers on Monday, with negotiators facing a tight timetable to decide key aspects of a new bailout plan to pull the country out of its economic crisis.

China’s top leaders are thrashing out an economic growth strategy for the coming year in an annual meeting expected to endorse fine-tuning of policies to contain inflation but support growth.

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