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US: Stocks fall after Greek vote


[NEW YORK] US stocks fell moderately on Monday, joining most global bourses in moving lower after the Greek vote against further austerity measures raised fears the country could exit the eurozone.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 46.53 (0.26 per cent) to 17,683.58.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 8.02 (0.39 per cent) at 2,068.76, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 17.27 (0.34 per cent) to 4,991.94.

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the door was open for a return to debt negotiations with Greece, but called on Athens to make "serious" proposals after Greek voters decisively voted down additional austerity measures sought by creditors.

The drop in US stocks was modest compared with declines in leading European equity markets and in the oil market. US oil prices fell nearly eight percent.

"Possibly what the market is saying is either the expectation for a 'no' vote and for an exit are already priced into the US market, or the expectation is whatever happens in Greece related to Europe won't adversely affect US growth," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at S&P Capital IQ.

Petroleum-linked stocks fell, including Dow member Chevron (-1.2 per cent), producer Apache (-2.3 per cent) and oil-services giant Halliburton (-2.8 per cent).

Among Dow members, Wal-Mart Stores gained 0.9 per cent to lead the blue-chip index, but General Electric fell 1.8 per cent and Intel lost 1.7 per cent.

Health insurer Humana gained 0.9 per cent after unveiling a US$37 billion deal to be acquired by rival Aetna. Aetna fell 6.4 per cent.

Anthem and Cigna, two other health insurers that have been seen as possible merger partners, both fell. Anthem lost 0.9 per cent, while Cigna fell 0.8 per cent.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.29 per cent from 2.38 per cent Thursday, while the 30-year dropped to 3.09 per cent from 3.19 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.