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U.S. stocks pared gains as optimism over the debt crisis fizzled after Fitch Ratings said it may downgrade ratings of European nations.
France, Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, Italy, Ireland and Cyprus had their debt ratings placed on rating watch negative by Fitch Ratings, indicating they face a heightened probability of downgrade in the near-term. Fitch said a “comprehensive solution” to the euro zone crisis is “technically and politically beyond reach.”
Gains in stocks were propelled earlier by optimism the European Union will meet a Dec. 19 deadline for funding a crisis-fighting package. Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker, who leads a group of finance ministers from the region, said the EU should meet the goal for arranging loans to the International Monetary Fund. An hour after Juncker’s comments, the Bundesbank said it won’t rush to a decision on the loans, which are to be provided by EU national central banks.
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