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Athens Again an Achilles' Heel for Equities?


The world in your hands: an overseas overnight update.

Moody's did little to improve Greece's mood in the early hours of this morning, cutting the country's debt rating a notch and raising new questions about the financial system in Athens and beyond. It would be easy to dismiss the latest developments, which follow similar downgrades from S&P and Fitch ratings services earlier in the month, as happenings in a far-off foreign land are of little concern to Americans. Except that the specter of a sovereign debt domino effect involving even larger economies isn't at all out of the question. It's a reminder of the importance of keeping our own fiscal house in order, a test Congress & Co. aren't exactly passing with flying colors.

Turning to planes, trains, and automobiles. Boeing (BA) announced a $2 billion, 10 aircraft order from Japan's All Nippon Airways. Meanwhile, here's an interesting article about Beijing's plans for a high-speed rail, which, as it turns out, may be redundant. Seems some passengers prefer slow boats to China. And Toyota Motor (TM) today announced an aggressive push on cost cuts. Its shares closed up on a strong day for Japanese stocks, with the Nikkei ending at a three-month closing high.

Apparently we're about to appoint a new cyber security tsar, many months after making it a "top priority" and not a minute too soon based on this developing story about a Russian hack attack on Citigroup (C).

Columbia had long been catnip for kidnappers, but in recent years, President Uribe's efforts in cracking down on rebels had resulted in an unlikely economic and stock market success story. Thus, does this news -- the most high-profile attack in years -- raise concerns of a return to the bad old days?

Misery loves company in Dubai, where two stock markets in that beleaguered kingdom just announced plans to combine.
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