US stocks ended lower on Friday erasing possible weekly gains as investors worried over whether Greece and her international creditors would be able to agree on a bailout pact ahead of their self-imposed deadline.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 140.53 points or 0.8% lower at 17,898.84 points. The blue-chip index ended the week, however, 0.3% higher after hitting record levels earlier in the week.
The S&P 500 Index ended 14.75 points or 0.75% in the red at 2094.11 points and ending the week even.
The technology heavy Nasdaq Composite broke even for the week despite declining 0.6% on the day.
The weakness in US markets followed a selloff in the major European Indexes over nervousness among investors over the possibility of a Greece default and exit from the European Union, told CNBC.
“The key component is, with what’s happening in Europe, we should probably be nervous how this Greece situation turns out,” Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
The stocks, however pared morning losses on a report by Reuters that the Greece government was readying itself to table counter proposals and that a deal between Greece and its creditors was now ‘closer than ever’
Also weighing down on the equities and trading volume was a decision by most investors to trim their stock exposure ahead of the Federal Reserve Meeting next week.
While a small number expect the Fed to start hiking the interest rates during the meeting, the general consensus among investors is that the Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will give the clearest indication yet over the timing of the interest rate hike.
Friday recorded the second lowest volume this year with only 5.1 billion shares exchanging hands against an average of 6.6 billion shares this year.
“You’ve certainly got some nervous selling after a couple of days of gains,” Seth Setrakian, co-head of global equities at First New York Securities, told the Wall Street Journal.
“I don’t see who’s going to run up to the plate and stick their head up,” he added.
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