Stocks flat despite deal on Greek debt
David Russell | [email protected]
The S&P 500 is hovering around yesterday's levels, while most of the indexes across the Atlantic are higher by about half a percent. Asian markets were mixed overnight after U.S. stocks after the SPX fell slightly yesterday.
The Greek deal will free up $57 billion in bailout money and lowers its debt payments. It will also force Athens to cut government spending. Now the attention returns to Washington, where lawmakers must find ways to increase government revenues by year-end or face the prospect of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts--the so-called fiscal cliff.
Commodities are painting a modestly bullish picture, with crude oil, copper, and agricultural foodstuffs edging higher. The euro is slightly lower, but other currencies are showing a bias toward risk. The Australian and Canadian dollars are gaining, while the Japanese yen is down across the board.
Today also has a full docket of economic reports, starting with durable-goods orders at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Case-Shiller index of home prices and consumer confidence follow later in the morning. Durable-goods are expected to shrink by half a percent, so a smaller decline would be considered bullish. Home prices and consumer data have both been strong in recent months.
In company-specific news, private-label food company Ralcorp agreed to be purchased by ConAgra for $90 a share. RAH, which closed at $70.23 yesterday, is up 27 percent before the bell. Las Vegas Sands is also higher by about 4 percent after announcing a special dividend of $2.75 a share.