US stocks eased back from near record levels to end lower on Friday ahead of a summit next week that will decide whether Greece will start printing its own money and exit the Euro.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 101.56 points or 0.6% lower at 18,014.84 points. The blue chip index however ended the week 0.6% higher owing to Thursday’s gains.
The S&P 500 Index ended 11.25 points or 0.5% lower at 2109.09 points with all 10 of its key sectors ending in the red. The benchmark index however still ended 0.8% higher on the week.
The technology heavy Nasdaq composite retreated from record highs on Thursday to end 15.95 points or 0.3% lower at 5,117.00 points. The index however still clocked a 1.3% gain for the week.
“Big moves on Thursday were attributed to the Fed, however, the Fed has not changed its stance. And the fact markets are at these levels despite the complete failure to find a resolution to Greece’s debt problems, is baffling,” Channing Smith, portfolio manager at Capital Advisors, told Market Watch.
Leaders from the Euro zone are slated to meet on Monday in last ditch efforts to agree a bailout deal with Greece after finance leaders failed to reach any kind of agreement between the country and its international creditors ahead of the deadline.
“Friday’s decline in stocks has to do with the meeting on Monday. It’s sort of the last lifeline they are going to throw out to Greece and people are selling ahead of that because of the uncertainty,” King Lip, chief investment officer at Baker Avenue Asset Management in San Francisco told Reuters.
“If Greece leaves the union, that removes an uncertainty and is actually good for the markets over the long run; if there is a resolution, that is also good. In some way, whatever happens on Monday is a win-win and (a market selloff) is a buyable dip.”
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