Stocks Lower on Lack of Greece Deal

Stocks Lower on Lack of Greece Deal

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. and global stocks headed lower Wednesday as negotiations between Greece and its lenders drag on and investors become less hopeful that a deal will be reached soon.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial average was down 95 points, or 0.5 percent, to 18,048 as of 12:15 p.m. Eastern time, ending a two-day advance. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost eight points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,116 and the Nasdaq composite was down 16 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,143.

GREECE TALKS: Greece and its creditors continue to hold meetings to reach a new bailout deal for the country. Greece needs loans in time to make a debt payment on June 30. The sides appeared to be moving closer to an agreement this week, but on Wednesday it became clear that some differences remain on what reforms Greece should make in exchange for loans.

"Greece has to be the slowest moving train wreck in financial history; but in a way, it's a good thing because if Greece had failed in 2012 we'd be in a much more dire situation," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank, which oversees $66 billion in Chicago.

German Finance Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said his delegation was heading to a meeting on Greece with "realistic expectations" and its impression was that plenty of work remains to be done.

Greek stocks fell 2 percent. Germany's DAX fell 0.6 percent, France's CAC 40 was down 0.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.1 percent.

EYES ON FED: Investors also remain focused on when the U.S. Federal Reserve might increase its key interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade. Fed Governor Jerome Powell said at an event on Tuesday that he expects the U.S. central bank to begin raising its benchmark interest rate in September, with a second rate rise coming in December.

The expectations of an interest rate increase rose after a report released Wednesday showed that the U.S. economy contracted less than previously thought in the first three months of the year. The Commerce Department said first quarter GDP fell 0.2 percent, compared with its previous report of a 0.7 percent contraction.

SPLIT SCREEN: Netflix shares rose $2.84, or 0.4 percent, to $684.23 after the company announced late Tuesday that it would do a seven-for-one stock split.

BONDS: U.S. government bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.40 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 60 cents to $60.41 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, fell $1.03 to $63.42 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The euro edged down to $1.1187. The dollar rose to 124.32 Japanese yen.

(KA)