Stocks were little changed as markets remained focus on the situation in Greece. Eurozone finance ministers held a meeting in Brussels, though with little news coming out of this meeting during the day, stocks finished Wednesday near where they started the day.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 17,852.2, -16.5, (-0.1%)
- S&P 500: 2,058, -1, (-0.03%)
- Nasdaq: 4,800, +12.8, (+0.3%)
And now, the top stories on Wednesday:
1. The market is still focused on Europe and the situation in Greece, as the eurozone’s finance ministers met in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss the terms of the Greek bailout. There were few headlines out of those meeting, but Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis did tell reporters that Greece will “absolutely not” leave the eurozone.
2. In a note to clients on Wednesday, strategists at UBS said that with the risks in Greece looming, in addition to potential rate hikes from the Fed, it might be time for investors to consider paring their exposure to stocks. “We think the calm of markets is not consistent with near-term risks,” wrote UBS strategists Ramin Nakisa and Stephane Deo. “We believe it is time to reduce equity exposure, at least tactically.”
3. The price of oil, another major focus of markets recently, fell again on Wednesday with West Texas Intermediate crude prices slipping about 1.5% to move back below $US50 a barrel. Data from the EIA on Wednesday also showed that the oil market continues to be oversupplied, as US crude oil inventories totaled 417.9 million last week, the most in at least 80 years. And Wall Street is loading up on its bet against energy stocks, with data from Bespoke Investment Group showing that the short float on S&P 500 energy stocks is currently at 9.88%, the most since at least 2008.
4. Carl Icahn thinks Apple is worth $US216 per share. In a letter to his “Twitter users” on his website shareholdersquaretable.com, Icahn wrote that he thinks shares of Apple are worth $US216 and the noted hedge fund manager also raised his forecasted earnings for the iPhone market to $US9.70 from $US9.60 per hare this year. Icahn continues to own around 53 million shares of Apple.
5. AOL shares got crushed on Wednesday, falling more than 10% after the company said 2015 would be an “investment year.” Business Insider’s Lara O’Reilly has the full breakdown of what Armstrong said on the conference call that investors did not seem to be too thrilled about.
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