Greece Uncertainty Hangs Over Dow Jones Industrial Average

Crude extended its retreat on word of record-high stockpiles

by Karee Venema

Published on Feb 11, 2015 at 4:26 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Despite a brief pop north of breakeven in late-afternoon trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) spent almost the entire session in the red -- eventually settling with a modest loss, and paring a portion of yesterday's big gains. Most of the day's anxiety centered on today's highly anticipated meeting between eurozone finance ministers and Greece, and the lingering uncertainty surrounding the country's fiscal future. Back on the home front, traders also digested a pair of economic reports, which showed a widening budget deficit and a steep drop in mortgage applications. Not all was lost, though, with the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) managing to buck the bearish trend, thanks to a lift from heavyweight tech name Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,862.14) was down 109 points at its session low, before paring that deficit to 6.6 points. Of the Dow's 30 components, 18 finished lower, led by Cisco Systems, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:CSCO) 2% pre-earnings slide. Goldman Sachs Group Inc's (NYSE:GS) 1.7% pop led the 12 advancers.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,068.53) settled not far from where it started the session, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,801.18) fared the best of its peers -- tacking on 13.5 points, or 0.3%, to close above 4,800 for the first time since Dec. 29.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 16.96) shed 0.3 point, or 1.6% -- finding support atop its 60-day moving average in intraday action.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. All eyes were on Greece today, as the fiscally strapped nation met with eurozone finance leaders to discuss the terms of its bailout. While it is expected that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will offer up a short-term bridge proposal -- or a way to reduce a number of austerity measures levied toward the country -- Ireland's finance minister Michael Noonan expressed concern over this, saying "the only space in which Greece can negotiate is with an extension of their existing program or within a program." The meeting is expected to last well into the night. (The New York Times)
  2. Peace talks began between several European countries to try and negotiate a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine; however, just hours before the summit began, the fighting in Ukraine escalated. (Reuters)
  3. A day after surpassing a $700 billion market cap, AAPL got some love from analysts, while First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) benefited from a new investment from the iPhone maker.
  4. Speculators took a bearish stance ahead of Tesla's fourth-quarter earnings report.
  5. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:LGF) moved higher today, on news of a stock swap agreement with the largest shareholder of another media company.
EARNINGS

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.

STOCKS – NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS – NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Commodities:

Crude continued its drop, as the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said domestic inventories rose by more than expected last week, assailing new record highs. At the close, March-dated oil lost $1.84, or 2.4%, to finish at $48.84 a barrel.

Gold ended lower for a second straight day due to a still-strengthening U.S. dollar. April-dated gold fell $12.60, or 1%, to settle at $1,219.60 per ounce -- the malleable metal's lowest close in roughly a month.


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