US STOCKS-Wall St tumbles as Greece, Portugal downgraded

* S&P downgrades Portugal two notches, cuts Greece to junk
* Bank shares slide as Goldman execs testify
* Dow off 0.97 pct, S&P slips 1.24 pct, Nasdaq off 1.09 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to early afternoon)

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, April 27 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) tumbled on high
volume on Tuesday as investors shunned risk after the credit
ratings for both Greece and Portugal were downgraded.

Financial stocks remained in focus as Goldman Sachs Group
Inc (GS.N: ) executives sought to fend off accusations they
helped inflate the housing bubble and made billions off the
collapse as they testified before a Senate subcommittee.
Goldman stock rose 1.1 percent, but the S&P financial index
(.GSPF: ) dropped 1.7 percent. For details see [ID:nLDE63Q1TP]

The cost of insuring Greek and Portuguese debt against
default rose to record highs after rating agency Standard and
Poor’s cut Greece’s rating to junk status and downgraded
Portugal by two notches. For details see [ID:nLDE63P0LU] and
[ID:nLDE6351JT].

“The markets are really selling off on the combination of
the widening sovereign debt crisis and the hammering that is
going on in the Senate hearing,” said Alan Lancz, president of
Alan B. Lancz & Associates Inc in Toledo, Ohio.

“Just like in 2008, when you had one big company fall
after another, you’re now seeing this spread from Greece to
Portugal.”

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) dropped 108.98
points, or 0.97 percent, to 11,096.05. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: ) lost 15.06 points, or 1.24 percent, to
1,196.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) fell 27.40
points, or 1.09 percent, to 2,495.55.

The S&P 500 broke through a technical resistance level and
chartists now look at 1,180 as a near-term support. Mid-term
support is seen at around 1,150, the peak the benchmark hit in
January.

U.S.-traded shares of the National Bank of Greece (NBG.N: )
sank more than 14 percent to $2.64, after earlier hitting a
session low at $2.61, their lowest since March 2009.

The euro fell (Read more about the trembling euro. ) more than 2 percent against the yen and was
trading near its 12-month low against the U.S. dollar.

Reflecting Wall Street fears over the sovereign debt
problems, the CBOE Volatility Index (.VIX: ) surged more than 20
percent to its highest since February.

3M Co (MMM.N: ) was among just three Dow components in the
positive zone, up 2.1 percent at $89.27 after posting
better-than-expected quarterly profits and raised its
full-year outlook. [ID:nN27245093]

Nearly five stocks fell for each one that rose on the New
York Stock Exchange, while decliners outnumbered advancers by
a ratio about 10 to 3 on the Nasdaq.

Investing Advice

(Additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica)

US STOCKS-Wall St tumbles as Greece, Portugal downgraded