Stocks Record Small Losses on Greek Debt Deal Delay
The euro fell against the U.S. Dollar on Monday as Greece's political leaders delayed their decision on a new bailout package from the EU/IMF, which would require more painful austerity measures. While analysts and market observers anticipate that Greece will end up accepting the painful terms of the bailout, the possibility of a disorderly Greek default is still on the table.
The machinations taking place in Europe led to a cautious tone at the start of trading on Monday, with the major averages falling at the open. Nevertheless, stocks rose throughout the session after the gap lower and finished with only marginal losses.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 17 points at 12,845. The widely watched blue-chip average traded in a range between 12,793 and 12,861.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) lost 0.07% to $134.45. Volume was light with just 107.5 million SPY shares trading hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 181 million.
The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (NASDAQ: QQQ), which tracks the performance of the Nasdaq 100, shed 0.08% to $62.00. Year-to-date, the QQQ is already up around 11%, as the stock market has posted its best annual start in 25 years.
Crude oil was mixed with NYMEX WTI crude futures falling and ICE Brent contracts rising. NYMEX crude, the U.S. benchmark, lost 0.95% to $96.91 while Brent, which is a more global benchmark, added 1.66% to $116.48. In ETF trading, the United States Oil Fund ETF (NYSE: USO) lost 0.69% to $37.33.
Gold also fell amid a cautious atmosphere. COMEX gold futures shed 1.04% to $1,722.20. The SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE: GLD) fell 0.29% to $167.18. In other metals trading, copper lost 0.58% and silver futures were down 0.22% to $33.67.
Treasuries bounced on Monday as demand for U.S. debt rose amid the European worries. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) surged 1% to $117.73. The yield on the 10-Year Note lost 1.6 basis points to 1.91%.
The U.S. Dollar benefited from weakness in the euro on Monday, but finished only very moderately higher. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, added 0.05% to $22.04. The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last trading at $1.3125.
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