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Wall Street slides following European elections

May 07, 2012|By Andrew Tangel

U.S. stocks slid in early trading Monday following French and Greek elections that may shift the direction of the Eurozone's fiscal policy.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down about 50 points, or 0.38%, shortly after the opening bell on Wall Street.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index bounced in and out of positive territory in early trading. The S&P 500 was down about 2 points, or 0.15%, about 45 minutes after trading opened.

Wall Street's mixed opening comes as the elections in France and Greece appeared to challenge austerity measures the European countries have put in place to reassure bond markets as an intractable debt crisis continues to imperil the continent's common monetary system.

Over the weekend, France elected Francois Hollande as its first socialist president in nearly two decades. Greek voters rebuffed two parties that had been implementing government cost-cutting required as part of an international bailout.

The elections are seen as a rebuke to a German-led push for heavily indebted European countries to make sharp -- and unpopular -- cuts in government spending.

The benchmark S&P 500 fell 2.4% last week, following a disappointing report form the U.S. Department of Labor showing employers added only 115,000 jobs in April.

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