NEW YORK, May 9, 2012 (AFP) – US stocks pared early sharp losses Wednesday to close with moderate losses after European Union officials confirmed that Greece would get the next installment of bailout funds this week.
Early worries that the EU would deny the country its scheduled 5.2 billion euro ($6.7 billion) payout sent stocks tumbling more than one percent, but later officials assured that Athens would get at least 4.2 billion euros.
At the close the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 97.03 points (0.75 percent) to 12,835.06.
The broader S&P 500 shed 9.14 (0.67 percent) to 1,354.58, while the tech-rich Nasdaq dropped 11.56 (0.39 percent) to 2,934.71.
As leftists opposed to terms of the 130 billion euro bailout scrambled to form a new government in Athens, Greece’s political plight dominated the market news.
Amid more speculative talk of the country being forced to leave the eurozone, European stock markets sank along with the euro during the day.
“Until the market gets some relief in terms of what may or may not happen in Greece, I think it’s going to be a bumpy ride here,” said Peter Cardillo of Rockwell Global Capital.
Worried investors “want to save money, not to make money — it’s been like that since the beginning of the week,” said Michael James of Wedbush Securities.
Large industrial stocks fell roundly, with General Electric falling 1.8 percent, United Technologies 2.3 percent, and Textron 2.0 percent.
Banks were also key losers: Citigroup sank 2.8 percent, JPMorganChase 1.8 percent, and Wells Fargo 1.6 percent.
On the Nasdaq, Apple and Microsoft registered modest rises, and small retailer Cost Plus — owner of World Market stores — jumped 21.9 percent on a $550 million takeover deal by Bed Bath and Beyond. Bed Bath fell 0.3 percent.
Walt Disney Company led the few gainers on the blue-chip index, jumping 1.6 percent. The entertainment giant reported Tuesday a 21 percent profit jump in its fiscal second quarter, despite its movie flop “John Carter,” beating market expectations.
Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury was flat at 1.84 percent, while the 30-year rose to 3.04 percent from 3.02 percent. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.
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