Stocks are mixed to lower in mid-day trading in the wake of Standard & Poor's move to put the ratings of 15 euro-zone nations on negative watch list. The move came amid worries over the debt crisis that has gripped the continent and ahead of a summit of European leaders set for this weekend.
Still, the move by S&P "is killing risk appetite among investors," Bank of America Merrill Lynch strategists wrote in a report, as quoted by MarketWatch. European stocks fell following the downgrade, with Germany's DAX finishing off over 1% and the FTSE off 0.2%.
The Bank of England said it would introduce a liquidity facility because of "continuing exceptional stresses," according to a MarketWatch report on the matter. The facility will help to mitigate risks to financial stability stemming from a market shortage of short-term liquidity, the report said. European banks are mostly lower, with UBS ( UBS ) up 0.2%, or $0.03, to $12.35. CS is down 0.9%. DB is down 1.3% . RBS is down 1.1%.
There are no major economic reports due today.
Commodities are lower as February gold contracts are down 1.11% to $1,715 an ounce while January crude oil contacts are down 0.23% to $100.76 a barrel.
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