Slovakia’s parliament voted against a plan to fortify the European Financial Stability Facility, which would have ensured more funds went to indebted nations via bond purchases and loans to bank credits.
The no vote is setback for efforts by European leaders to contain the continent's sovereign debt crisis, which has threatened the global economy and the international financial system.
Slovakia was the last of the 17 European Union member states to vote on the measure, which requires unanimous approval of all member countries. Lawmakers are expected to try again to pass the plan.
Markets were relatively flat in Europe and the U.S. as investors awaited the parliament's decision.
The decision came just after Wall Street closed for the day.
The S&P Retail Index rose 0.4 percent, or 2.07 points, to 528.67, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.2 percent, or 16.88 points, to 11,416.30.
The retail gainers were Charming Shoppes Inc., up 10.4 percent to $2.87, and Aéropostale Inc., ahead 7.1 percent to $12.99, Among those losing ground were Kohl’s Corp., down 3.2 percent to $50.08, and Gap Inc., off 2 percent to $17.58.
In Europe, Frankfurt’s DAX rose 0.3 percent, but all the other markets fell slightly. London’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.1 percent as Paris’ CAC 40 dipped 0.3 percent and Milan’s FTSE MIB retreated 0.4 percent.
Retail and luxury stocks put in a mixed performance with the day’s biggest gainers including French Connection, which rose 5.7 percent; the Swatch Group, which advanced 1.7 percent, and Ferragamo, which increased 1.3 percent. Among Tuesday’s biggest decliners were Asos.com, which fell 3.4 percent; Metro, which tumbled 2.8 percent, and Hermes, which declined 1.5 percent.
Also on Tuesday, European Union finance chiefs and representatives from the International Monetary Fund said Greece would likely get its second tranche of bailout funds in early November.
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