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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

US Stocks rise as investors grapple with Greece (ext)

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks managed decent gains Monday, even as investors remained cautious about Greece's debt crisis.

After slipping about 0.3% in the opening minutes, the major indexes turned higher, with the Dow Jones industrial average closing (INDU) up 76 points, or 0.6%.

The S&P 500 (SPX) rose 7 points, or 0.5%, and the Nasdaq composite (COMP) rose 13 points, or 0.5%.

"All eyes are on the Greek debt situation and whether more help is on the way," said Sameer Samana, an analyst at Wells Fargo Advisors. He said ongoing developments in Greece will likely continue to drive market action, as investors wait for the debt-ridden country to pass more austerity measures.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that the Obama administration believes that Greece's debt situation can be resolved with Europe's help, but "it does create a headwind."

Greek debt woes have been pressuring stock markets around the world in recent weeks, as investors worry that the country will default on its debt and the crisis will spread to other countries. The Dow and S&P 500 are down about 6% since the start of May, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq has lost nearly 9%.

Adding fuel to the fire, credit agency Moody's said Friday that it was putting Italy on watch for a possible credit rating downgrade.

The dollar was flat versus the euro and the British pound, and gained slightly against the Japanese yen.

Oil for July delivery rose 16 cents, or 0.2%, to settle at $93.26 a barrel, following steep losses from the previous week.

Gold futures for August delivery gained $2.90 to settle at $1,542.00 an ounce.


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