Stocks fall as rating agencies knock euro deal

U.S. stocks are closing sharply lower after two rating agencies criticized a European fiscal pact announced last week that aims to ease the region’s debt crisis.

Fitch and Moody’s Investors Service said Monday that the deal to link Europe’s budgets more closely will have little short-term impact. Fitch predicted a deep recession in Europe. Moody’s said it will review all European nations’ credit ratings.

The Dow closed down 163 points, or 1.3 percent, at 12,021. It had fallen 243 points earlier Monday.

The S&P 500 closed down 19 points, or 1.5 percent at 1,236. The Nasdaq closed down 35 points, or 1.3 percent at 2,612.

About four stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was very light at 3.35 billion shares.