NEW YORK – U.S. stocks on Tuesday fell to their worst finish in nearly three months after Greece and Portugal were hit with downgrades of their credit ratings.

“This raises the cost of capital that will make people reassess risk in everything else,” said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 213.04 points, or 1.9 percent, at 10,991.99, the worst finish since Feb. 4.

The dollar and yen pulled higher in the wake of the S&P move, which exacerbated worries that the troubles would spread to other countries in the euro zone.

“Bullish pundits will be out in force later today telling us it’s earnings that are the key to the market and we should ignore the European debt issues,” wrote Elliot Spar, a strategist at Stifel Nicolaus.

“If the market is ready for a meaningful pullback, a trigger or not, it goes down.”

The troubles from overseas hit Wall Street as executives from Goldman Sachs went before a Senate panel to respond to its probe of the investment bank’s role in the financial crisis.

“It’s like the (O.J.) Simpson trial for the investment community,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Bank. “It certainly will affect not only the tone of the market today but could have implications for the financial-reform package down the road.”


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