U.S. stocks fall slightly; Greece debt deadline looms

29 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

US stocks dip on worries about Greece.

New York – US stocks eased on Thursday as mixed messages about Greece’s debt talks kept investor uncertainty high along with a sharp drop in Chinese shares after brokers tightened margin rules. NEW YORK–Wall Street stocks dipped Thursday, following leading eurozone equity markets lower on worries about a potential Greek exit from the currency bloc.U.S. stocks fell slightly Thursday, following a sell-off in the Chinese market and continued worries about the approaching debt payment deadline for cash-starved Greece.

Seven of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with the industrials sector falling the most, 0.4 percent, a day after the Nasdaq closed at a record high. The broad-based S&P 500 shed 2.69 (0.13 percent) at 2,120.79, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 8.62 (0.17 percent) at 5,097.98, retreating from Wednesday’s record. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said there was still a lot of work to do before Greece and its international lenders could clinch a cash-for-reforms deal. A euro zone official said Greece will not be able to get the money still available under its current bailout plan if it does not agree to the outline of a such a deal by the end of the week. “Everybody is coming out with a different story. In China, indexes plummeted 6 per cent after more brokerages tightened margin trading requirements in a move seen aimed at curbing risks in a red-hot equity market. “Greece is playing a major role in our markets at this point,” said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 43.94 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 18,119.05, the S&P 500 lost 3.23 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 2,120.25 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 9.91 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 5,096.68. Big-box retailer Costco Wholesale fell 0.8 percent as revenues for the quarter ending May 10 came in at $25.52 billion, below the $26.63 billion forecast by analysts. Cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks jumped 3.6 percent after forecasting sales of $252-256 million in the current quarter, more than the $247.67 million projected by analysts. Equipment-rental company United Rentals tumbled 9.1 percent following comments by chief financial officer Bill Plummer that May business was “a bit softer” than the company previously projected.

In government debt markets, US 30-year Treasury bond prices were last down 10/32 in price to yield 2.8903 per cent, from 2.875 per cent late on Wednesday. Among gainers, action camera maker GoPro rose 6.6 percent to $56.81 after GoPro and Google introduced a virtual reality system using 16 cameras and Google software. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,756 to 1,282, for a 1.37-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,468 issues fell and 1,277 advanced for a 1.15-to-1 ratio favouring decliners.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here. The central bank is expected to increase rates as early as September, but the bank’s policymakers say any increase will depend on how the U.S. economy is doing. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. Stock market commentator Hexun attributed the fall to several factors, including brokerages tightening lending to individual investors, selling by speculators and a Chinese sovereign wealth fund selling shares in two state banks.

In the metals markets, gold rose $2.30 to $1,188.80 an ounce, silver rose two cents to $16.67 an ounce and high-grade copper was unchanged at $2.77 a pound. (***)

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