(CN) – U.S. financial markets rebounded Tuesday morning as the reality of Britain-less European Union began to gain acceptance both here and abroad.
In the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union last week, global financial markets quaked and top credit rating agencies S&P, Fitch and Moody’s all lowered their assessments for the United Kingdom.
But the financial community appeared to shake off at least some of its initial concerns Tuesday as British Prime Minister David Cameron travelled to Brussels to meet with his European Union counterparts.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 116 points to 17,256 in morning trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 16 points to 2,017. The Nasdaq composite added 58 points, or 1.3 percent, to 4,652.
Meanwhile, European benchmarks, including stock markets in Britain, France and Germany also saw gains.
Early reports from that session suggest, however, that the conversations between the leaders has been strained.
Cameron, who was opposed to leaving the EU, argued for the best possible conditions exit conditions Britain and suggested he won’t immediately trigger the clause that would start the clock ticking the nation’s exit.
Article 50 of the EU’s Treaty of Lisbon, which sets in motion a two-year process to leave the group.
“Britain will be leaving the European Union but I want that process to be as constructive as possible,” Cameron said.
But his counterparts at the oval conference table were unmoved, declining to negotiate and seemingly eager to Britain to leave.
“Europe is ready to start the divorce process, even today, without any enthusiasm, as you can imagine,” EU President Donald Tusk said as he opened the meeting.
Tusk announced he is planning a special meeting of the EU leaders without Cameron in Slovakia in September to chart a way ahead.
Those who campaigned in favor of Britain leaving the EU had argued that the country would be able to hold on to many of the economic perks of membership without having to open its borders to EU immigration.
On Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted that will not happen.
“Whoever wants to leave this family cannot expect to have no more obligations but to keep privileges,” she said. “We will ensure that the negotiations are not carried out with the principle of cherry-picking.”
French President Francois Hollande was even more blunt.
“As fast as possible, the U.K. must submit its notification to leave the European Union,” he said.
In addition to dealing with Britain’s exit, the EU member states must now fashion a new way ahead.
Merkel vowed to do everything in her power to keep the union together and hammer out differences between the founding members the countries of western Europe with newer members in the east.
A major source of stress in those relationships is refugee migration.
“If the EU cannot solve the migration situation, then the challenges we experienced now in the case of the United Kingdom will grow,” said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Hungary and other countries in central Europe refuse to accept the imposition of EU refugee quotas.
In contrast, Germany, Austria, Sweden and Denmark have all tightened access to their borders.
But this and a host of other issues have all now taken a back seat to the situation with Britain.
“I want the U.K. to clarify its position,” said EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. “We cannot allow ourselves to remain in a prolonged period of uncertainty.”
Meanwhile, in the U.S., President Barack Obama said he doesn’t anticipate “major, cataclysmic changes” as a result of Britain’s pending exit from the EU.
Speaking to National Public Radio, Obama went on to say there are more differences than similarities when it comes to Britain’s election compared with the presidential election in the United States.
Obama said Europe hasn’t fared as well as the United States since the financial crisis that struck in 2008, and some residents believed the EU was moving ahead without as much consensus as it should.
He also noted one similarity between the two elections the ability some candidates have to tap into people’s fears.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, right, speaks with French President Francois Hollande during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels on Tuesday, June 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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