Central banks in a surprise announcement Wednesday announce moves to ease strains in the global financial system. Central banks' moves should ease concerns over European banks but does not begin to solve long-term problems of European debt.
Stock markets in the US and Europe fell Tuesday, stunned by news that Greeks will vote in January on national austerity measures tied to resolving Greece's sovereign debt woes.
Indications that Greece might not default on its debt, as well as reports that the Federal Reserve has a new plan to stimulate the economy, prompted a solid day on Wall Street.
The Dow recovered almost 430 points Tuesday, after the Fed said it would keep short-term interest rates low until mid-2013. But the Fed's surprise move also points to expectations for slow recovery.
Stocks plummeted Monday, in response to the S&P's decision Friday evening to downgrade the US debt rating from AAA to AA+.
Congress and the president may in part have wanted a deal on the debt ceiling out of concern for financial markets, but word of an agreement couldn't compete with a dismal July report.
American exposure to the Greece crisis is high in certain areas. Half the assets in the 10 biggest money market funds are invested in European banks, which hold a lot of Greece's debt.