Financial markets are once again having to focus on a number of events around the globe that could further unsettle investors already worried about the fiscal cliff in the U.S.
Stocks in Europe initially fell following Moody's downgrade of France's debt to one notch below the top AAA rating, but recovered slightly ahead of a decision by European finance ministers on whether to release more bailout funds to Greece.
Related: Why Austerity May Be Over in Europe
Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Israeli air strikes and Palestinian rocket fire continued in and around Gaza, raising pressure on the international community to defuse the week-long conflict. Egypt's president Mohamed Morsi, who's been trying to broker a ceasefire, announced earlier that the Israel offensive would end today, according to the state news agency. (Subsequent reports continued to suggest the combat might wane, but a formal stop to the fighting hasn't yet been confirmed.) Elsewhere, United Nations Secretary General BanRead More »from For Markets, Mideast Is a Much Bigger Worry Than Europe: Jim Rickards