Stocks tumbled into the close as the market opened flat and fell throughout the trading day. The crucial two-day meeting of Euro-area finance ministers starts tomorrow, ahead of the lapse of Greece’s bailout program June 30.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 17,994.86, -149.21, (-0.82%)
- S&P 500: 2,111.22, -12.98, (-0.61%)
- Nasdaq: 5,126.15, -33.95, (-0.66%)
And now, the top stories on Wednesday:
- The economy shrank in the first quarter, but not as much as previously thought. The third and final revision of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) came in at -0.2%, matching expectations and the first print. The second revision released last month pushed down GDP to -0.7%. The report also showed that personal consumption rose 2.1%, beating expectations.
- As economists anticipate growth in the second quarter, Barclays says it’s possible the economy didn’t even shrink at all in Q1. Other key data signalled steady growth, they wrote in a client note after the release. “Given the adverse weather early in the year, the significant distortions to trade from the port strikes on the West Coast, and the effect of residual seasonality that has consistently suppressed growth in Q1 relative to remaining quarters during the recovery, we are inclined to look through the softness in the GDP statistics.”
- After creditors rejected the latest proposals for a bailout, Greece will now try to work out a deal with Euro-area finance ministers in the two-day meeting which kicks off in Brussels Thursday. The current bailout expires June 30, just as a €7.2 billion ($US8.2 billion) repayment is due to the IMF.
- US oil inventories fell for an eighth straight week, according to the Energy Information Administration. Commercial crude inventories fell by 4.9 million barrels in the week ended June 19, more than expected. Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, a key delivery point, fell by 1.87 million — the most in nearly 16 months; production rose to 9.6 million barrels. Stockpiles remain at an 80-year high for this time of year. After the data, West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell more than 1% to as low as $US59.81 per barrel.
- Carl Icahn has sold the last of his stake in Netflix, walking away with returns in excess of 1000%. On Tuesday, Netflix announced a 7-for-1 stock split — a move that will leave shareholders with the same percentage ownership, and reduce the stock’s price. In a tweet, Icahn wrote that he believes, “[Apple] currently represents same opportunity we stated [Netflix] offered several years ago.”
- In follow up tweets, he said he thinks the market is “extremely overheated — especially high yield bonds.” Just last week, Icahn told Fox Business that he thinks there’s a bubble brewing. “If more respected investors had warned about the market in ’07, we might have avoided the crisis in ’08,” he also tweeted.
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