DAVID KELLY, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, J.P. MORGAN FUNDS, NEW YORK
"The rating agencies throughout the European debt crisis have played not too helpful a role. Unfortunately, the news flows of European downgrades will only increase the volatility the markets.
"Greece is in the most financial trouble in Europe. Clearing other countries including Italy clearly have budget issues. This shows that Europe can't wash its hand of the Greece situation. It must isolate the problem with Greece and help other countries to deal with their fiscal issues.
"The big picture is that there continues to be an overhang of negative economic news and the European debt situation."
GREG SALVAGGIO, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, TEMPUS CONSULTING, WASHINGTON:
"The Moody's news on Italy reinforces the ECB's concern about the prospect of contagion. And contagion should not happen. As a result, I think there's a going to be a package put together over the weekend, which is going to effectively offer Greece another a lifeline. No one, however, is going to deal with the issue and (they will) simply kick the can down the road."
MICHAEL WOOLFOLK, SENIOR CURRENCY STRATEGIST AT BNY MELLON IN NEW YORK
"This cannot be a positive for the euro with market players already concerned about the potential contagion effect that the Greek debt crisis could have."
MARKET REACTION: STOCKS: S&P 500 briefly turns negative. BONDS: U.S. bond prices pare slight losses. FOREX: The euro trims gains versus the dollar.