S&P later confirmed the reports, announcing after the closing bell that it's placed the long-term sovereign ratings of 15 eurozone members on "creditwatch with negative implications." The Dow Jones Industrial Average settled up 78 points, or 0.7%, at 12,098. Financial stocks JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) and Bank of America ( BAC) led the gains for the blue-chip index, closing around 3% higher. The S&P 500 added 13 points, or 1%, to finish at 1257 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 29 points, or 1.1%, at 2656. More than 4 billion shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange and about 1.69 billion on the Nasdaq.
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks finished modestly higher on Monday although the major U.S. equity indices came off their session peaks in late trades on rumblings of a ratings outlook downgrade for European countries from Standard & Poor's.
2012 Stock Predictions and Outlook
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