LONDON -- After Friday's disappointing jobs figures left the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Both Greece and France staged national elections over the weekend, with the Greek elections ending in uncertainty as the electorate rejected the country's two largest parties and gave their votes to a raft of more radical alternatives.
The only two Greek parties to have supported the IMF bailout did not win enough votes to form a coalition, meaning that a wider coalition will be required. This increases the risk that the austerity program will fail, leading to an uncontrolled default. The Athens Stock Exchange was down by more than 7% by lunchtime, with Greek banking stocks plunging by as much as 20%. The yield on 10-year Greek government debt rose to more than 20%, highlighting the increased default risk.
In France, the election of socialist Francois Hollande was less of a surprise, but his anti-austerity stance has cast doubt on the ability of the EU's leading powers to orchestrate future important decisions. The STOXX 50 index of leading European blue-chip companies was down slightly by midday, and although London markets are closed today for a public holiday, FTSE 100
In U.S. company news, after falling on Friday, AIG
Over in Europe, trading volumes were low, thanks to the U.K. public holiday. However, if you would like to know which famous British blue chip recently inspired billionaire Warren Buffett to invest more than $1 billion, you can discover the name of the company and the price he paid in this latest free report.
At home, shares of Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway may slip further following lower-than-forecast earnings, while Tyson Foods releases quarterly results and Walt Disney shares may get a lift following the company's record U.S. box office receipts for The Avengers, which made $200 million at the box office in its opening weekend.
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Roland Head owns no shares of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Citigroup, and Walt Disney. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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