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TheStreet Open House

European Stocks Hit 10-Month Low

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- European stocks that brushed off bailouts in Ireland, Portugal and Greece hit a 10-month low Tuesday, reflecting a mix of poor economic data coming from the U.S., sluggish growth and a sovereign debt crisis that just won't go away.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated 1.4% to 258.44 in London on Tuesday, the lowest level since Oct. 5 on foot of several earnings reports that missed analysts' estimates. Meanwhile, 10-year benchmark bond yields in Italy and Spain -- the two eurozone countries now seen to pose the greatest threat to Europe's financial stability - remain above the psychological barrier of 6%, as markets refuse to accept that Europe's debt crisis has been solved.

Both benchmarks breached 6% for the first time in July. The three eurozone countries that have so far been bailed out -- Greece, Ireland and Portugal -- all issued their most recent 10-year bonds at yields of between 6% and 7%.

Adding to Europe's woes, a raft of European banks announced sweeping job cuts in the past week. Barclays (BCS) announced a further 1,600 jobs cuts Tuesday, on top of the 1,400 jobs already lost this year. HSBC (HBC) announced up to 30,000 layoffs Monday. It followed the news that Lloyds (LYG) would cut 15,000 jobs, while Credit Suisse (CS) plans to cut 2,000 jobs.

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