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"Greek difficulties have to a certain extent been discounted in the markets," said Lawrence Creatura, portfolio manager at Federated Investors. "There is a lot of pessimism already priced into stocks. The news will have to get worse if we're going to drive the market lower."
Hopes for a better turn for Greece overshadowed a one-notch downgrade of Italy's sovereign debt by Standard & Poor's, to A. The Stoxx Europe 600 finished with a 1.8% gain, its fifth advance in six sessions.