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U.S. Stocks Hobbled as Officials Stomp Out of Greek Talks, PPI Gains

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June 12, 2015

Why can’t we all just get along? European stock markets fell Friday for the first time in three days and global stock sentiment was sullied after the International Monetary Fund suspended Greece debt bailout talks. It’s a sour end to what had been shaping up as the strongest week for global stocks since April.

The snag potentially increases the risk of a Greek default and an exit from the euro-zone. Pressure is now on Athens to craft a new economic reform plan—it has offered small steps—before Europe’s finance ministers meet on June 18. U.S. stocks have been loosely tethered to Europe’s over recent sessions with all eyes on Greece. Greek bank stock weakness tugged its major index lower Friday, while Germany’s DAX 30 was down over 1% as the U.S. open neared.

Early stock weakness persisted and Treasury yields edged even higher after a report showed an uptick in the producer price index (PPI) in May. PPI was up 0.5% overall, led by energy prices and pricier eggs. It’s a headline that’s seen doing little to sway the Federal Reserve from tightening interest rates in coming months.

SPX-Holds-2100

FIGURE 1: NORTH OF THE BORDER.

The S&P 500 (SPX) closed deeper into territory above the closely watched 2100 line on Thursday. It spent the early part of the week bouncing from the low end of a six-week-long range. Data source: Standard & Poor’s. Chart source: TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim® platform. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Saudis Say Yes. NYMEX-traded oil prices dipped but remain near $60 a barrel after Saudi Arabia said it was ready to raise output further to meet strong demand. The drop chewed up some of the gains made earlier this week due to a sharp fall in U.S. oil stockpiles and a weaker dollar. In fact, it’s been dollar influence that has induced the bigger moves in oil markets, especially with speculation around the timing of a U.S. interest rate hike. As a refresher: a stronger dollar affects oil buyers holding other currencies; it also tends to influence investors to move money between asset classes.

Twitter’s Exec Shuffle. Shares of the social media stock (TWTR) gained in early action after CEO Dick Costolo said he would step down July 1. This comes after Costolo replaced much of Twitter’s top management team last year as Wall Street intensified its criticism of sluggish user growth and some product misses. Co-founder Jack Dorsey will serve as interim CEO until a replacement is found. TWTR also confirmed its Q2 revenue outlook of $470 million to $485 million.

Wings for a Hawks’ Win? Restaurant chain Wingstop (WING) joins the ranks of publicly traded companies with its trading debut today. WING priced its initial public offering of 5.8 million shares at $19 a share, above the expected range of $12 to $14.

Go Blackhawks.

Good trading,
JJ
@TDAJJKinahan


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