Dow Jones Thursday sunk more than 250 points, or 1.96%, to 12,573.57 and the S&P 500 fell 2.23% to 1,325.51.
Stocks are fighting back today, trying to ignore Moody's rating downgrades of five of the six largest U.S. banks.
The downgrades included Citigroup (NYSE: C), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM). Each of these stocks were up Friday as the markets already discounted the downgrades.
The markets, led by financials, opened Friday's trading with a jolt upwards before settling back to modest gains. Investors remained focused on Europe as leaders from Germany, France, Spain and Italy met in Rome. Little is expected to amount from this meeting, but it could establish a framework for what is to come in the European Union summit next week.
Besides the financial stocks there are three other companies to keep your eye on today: First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR), Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) and Harvest Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: HNR).
First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR), the largest maker of thin film solar panels, jumped in early trading after receiving permission to continue construction on a $1.36 billion power project in Los Angeles County.
First Solar stock has been beaten down this year amid steep losses and criticism over its involvement with the U.S. government. The Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One plant, which had been suspended until today, is partially funded by a $646 million loan from the U.S. Energy Department.
Shares of First Solar have slipped over 85% over the past twelve months from a 52-week high of $142.22.
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