U.S. stocks sink on Europe mixed messages
European leaders Thursday gamely promised to keep tackling the continent's debt crisis. But the markets wanted much more.
Stocks sank across the U.S. and Europe, the euro fell against the dollar and investors dumped bonds issued by the governments of Spain and Italy.
Investors had been expecting more immediate action from the European Central Bank and were disappointed by the plan's lack of details, especially considering the ECB president's pledge last week to do "whatever it takes" to keep the euro intact.
A week later, investors' response was more like: "whatever."
It was the second day in a row that markets were disappointed by a lack of decisive action from a major central bank. On Wednesday, stocks closed lower after the Federal Reserve made only vague promises about its plans for trying to revive the U.S. economy.
"It's more jawboning, it's more copy and paste from last week," said Kenny Polcari, managing director of the brokerage ICAP. "There was no definitive plan."