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Stocks End Off Highs After EU Ratings Report
05 Dec 2011 EST - CNBC.com
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Stocks fell from their best levels Monday following a report that all 17 euro zone nations were told their ratings will be put on downgrade watch by the S&P, but still logged a modest gain at the close.

Stocks had rallied earlier after France and Germany's leaders said they had completed an agreement on a plan to help resolve the euro zone debt crisis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 78.41 points, or 0.65 percent, to finish at 12,097.83, led by JPMorgan and BofA .

The S&P 500 added 12.80 points, or 1.03 percent, to end at 1,257.08. The Nasdaq gained 28.83 points, or 1.10 percent, to close at 2,655.76. With the day's gains, the Nasdaq is now in the black for the year, along with the Dow.

The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, finished above 27.

Most S&P sectors finished higher, led by financials and techs.

S&P is planning to put all 17 euro zone nations—not just the top six as previously reported by the Financial Times—on warning for a possible downgrade after 4pm ET, as a result of the deepening debt crisis, according to the Wall Street Journal. The move implies the possibility of a downgrade within 90 days.

S&P declined to comment.

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