Stocks Make Slight Gains Tuesday

NEW YORK (AP) --- U.S. stocks are closing with a small gain as investors wait for a deal between Greece and its creditors. Greece faces defaulting on its debt without new loans.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 24 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,144 on Tuesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose one point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,124.

The Nasdaq composite rose six points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,160.

In bond prices fell, pushing the yield on the 10-year Treasury note up to 2.41 percent from 2.37 on Monday.

Prepaid debit card company Green Dot was among the biggest gainers. Its stock soared 40 percent after the company announced it had renewed its partnership with Wal-Mart for another five years.

U.S. stocks are little changed in early afternoon trading Wednesday as investors wait for a deal between Greece and its creditors. Greece faces defaulting on its debt without new loans.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average gained 28 points, or 0.2 percent, to 18,148 as of 2:48 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose two points to 2,124 and the Nasdaq composite rose three point to 5,154.

GREEK TALKS: Greece's proposals for budget savings appear to have won initial backing from its creditors.

At a meeting Monday, leaders of the 19 nations that use the euro currency said the offer by the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras might form a basis of a deal to break a four-month deadlock. European finance ministers are scheduled to meet on Wednesday, followed by a summit of the region's political leaders.

Tsipras still has to sell the proposal to his own political party back in Greece. His Syriza party was voted into office on a pledge to repeal the harsh budget cuts and tax increases that previous governments had imposed since 2010.

Investors think a deal will be signed by the end of the week, in time for Greece to get the money it needs to make an upcoming payment to the International Monetary Fund.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "We always knew there was going to be a lot of drama with Greece," said Kristina Hooper, U.S. investment strategist at Allianz Global Investors. "Having said that, if things do take a turn for the worse, the EU is far better equipped to handle this crisis compared to a few years ago."

BONDS AND CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices edged lower on Tuesday, pushing the yield on the 10-year Treasury note up to 2.39 percent. The dollar rose to 123.82 Japanese yen and the euro fell to $1.1171.

U.S. Treasuries have been falling sharply in recent weeks as investors anticipate that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for the first time in almost a decade later this year.

SALAD, BREADSTICKS AND REAL ESTATE: Darden Restaurants rose 57 cents, or 1 percent, to $70.01. The restaurant holding company announced stronger-than-expected quarterly results and also said it planned on spinning off its significant real estate assets into a separate company.

Sales rose as more customer ordered wine and appetizers

THAT'S A LOT OF GREEN: Prepaid debit card company Green Dot soared $5.54, or 36 percent, to $20.85 after the company announced it had renewed its partnership with Wal-Mart for another five years. The company also will buy back $150 million in stock.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 63 cents to $61.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, climbed $1.50 to $64.85 a barrel.

METALS TRADING: Gold fell $7.50 to $1,176.60 an ounce. Silver slipped 41 cents to $15.74 an ounce and copper dropped 4.6 cents to $2.61 a pound.

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