Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wall Street Slides On Greek Debt Worries, Citigroup (NYSE: S) Slumps

US stocks finished lower on Wednesday as escalating worries over Greece's debt crisis dampened investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 178.84 points, or 1.48%, to finish at 11,897.27. The S&P 500 slumped 22.45 points, or 1.74%, to close at 1,265.42. The Nasdaq Composite plummeted 47.26 points, or 1.27%, to 2,631.46.

Euro zone finance ministers failed to make progress on discussions about Greek aid and protests against austerity measures turned violent in Athens. Senior EU officials said a deal was now unlikely to be reached at a summit next week and was likely to be delayed
until mid-July.

The Labor Department reported Wednesday that consumer price index rose 0.2% in May. Economists expected consumer inflation to rise by 0.1% in May.

Meanwhile, a report from the Federal Reserve showed that industrial production rose 0.1% in May, while capacity utilization climbed to 76.7% last month.

The New York Fed's Empire State general business conditions index dropped to minus 7.79 from positive 11.88 the month before. Economists phad expected a gain to 12.50.

Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX) rallied 19 cents, or 2.82%, to $6.93 on Wednesday after bigger rival Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) announced that it plans to stop making Cypher drug-coated heart stents and end development of a new model in a restructuring that will close two factories and cut as many as 1,000 jobs.

Shares of Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE: C) slumped 78 cents, or 2.01%, to close at $38. 

European stocks closed higher. The UK FTSE dropped 60.58 points, or 1.04% to 5,742.55. The German DAX and French CAC decreased 1.25% and 1.49% respectively.

Asian stocks finished mixed. The Nikkei 225 climbed 26.53 points, or 0.28%, to 9,574.32. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong fell 152.23 points, or 0.68%, to 22,343.77.

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