Tuesday’s Mid-Day Movers: 3 Stories Driving Markets

The U.S. equity markets advanced on Tuesday afternoon after suffering the largest losses this year to date on Monday. Gains were partially fueled by strong earnings as all 10 groups in the S&P 500 rose.

At 12:25: p.m.: DJIA: +0.80%, S&P 500: +0.88%, NASDAQ: +1.05%.

Here are three stories driving markets on Tuesday afternoon:Gavel

1) Five years after the financial crisis started to pick up steam, U.S. officials are finally bringing legal action against one of the three major credit rating firms. However, the motivation for the lawsuit is questionable, to say the least.

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The U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s, alleging the McGraw-Hill (NYSE:MHP) unit improperly used its rating system to assign grades to mortgage bonds that did not predict the full magnitude of the housing downturn and nearly caused a meltdown of the global financial system. It would be the first federal enforcement action against a credit rating firm over the crisis and several states are likely to join the lawsuit… (Read more.)