US Stocks Drop as Greece Concerns Offset Energy Gains

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US Stocks Drop as Greece Concerns Offset Energy Gains

US stocks dropped following the disappointing Chinese economic data and increased tensions over the Greek debt negotiations, though the decline was limited by gains in prices of oil.

Exports for China dropped 3.3% from a year ago while the imports dropped 19.9%, short of expectations and increasing concerns on the condition of the second largest economy in the world.

Reuters quoted Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management as having said, “China is a negative and Greece is a negative, certainly Greece is something investors have lived with for a while and it’s not a huge surprise.”

The prime minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras ruled out extensions of its international bailout on Sunday and announced moves to reverse some of the reforms that lenders had imposed.

The S&P 500 dropped 0.18% or 3.74 points to 2,051.73 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.33% or 59.18 points to 17,765.11. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.24% or 11.21 points to 4,733.19.

McDonald’s dropped 1.5% to $92.58 and same-restaurant sales dropped steeper-than-expected by 1.8% in January.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals rose 10.8% t $12. Qualcomm shares rose 2.8% to $59.49 after the toymaker reported a rise of nearly 31% in its quarterly profit and authorized additional share repurchases of $500 million.

According to Bloomberg Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Milwaukee-based RW Baird & Co. said, “There’s uncertainty around the whole situation in Greece, and as long as that lingers, there will be on-again, off-again concern. The fact that oil prices held up today and didn’t head south real hard helped the market off some early lows.”

Prices of oil climbed 3.5% in New York after rising 7.2% last week.

Energy stocks in the S&P 500 gained 0.5% as Noble Corp. and Transocean Ltd. added more than 5.7%.

To contact the reporter of the story: Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com