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Financial stocks led the sell-off in U.S markets, as investors worried that problems in the European banking sector could spillover into the U.S. banks.
European stock markets declines amid speculation that France, Europe's second largest economy after Germany, may be first to face a rating cut.
Even though the major rating agencies have reiterated France's AAA rating, "there's growing concern that France could get downgraded," said Tom Schrader, managing director at Stifel Nicolaus. "There's fear that S&P might do something stupid."
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