US Stock Futures Flat Ahead of Greek Debt Request

U.S. stock index futures were flat on Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 ended above 2,100 for the first time, as investors waited to see whether a debt deal would be reached with Greece.

Wall Street stocks have been tied to signs of progress or difficulty with Greece’s bailout program of late, even though the United States has little direct exposure to the country. Market participants are concerned that if a deal isn’t reached by Feb. 28, when a bailout program for Greece expires, increased volatility could spread through the euro zone.

European shares .FTEU3 rose 0.6 percent, hitting a seven-year high after the Greek government confirmed it would ask for an extension of its loan agreement. Shares in Greek banks .FTATBNK rose 7.1 percent.

 Still, the situation in Greece remained uncertain, with the government in Athens also looking to renegotiate Greece’s debts. U.S.-listed shares of the National Bank of Greece (NBG.N) fell 8 percent in premarket trading.

Investors also looked ahead to minutes from the January meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee for hints about whether the central bank might change the language of its next policy statement to flag a possible increase in interest rates, which could come as early as June.


via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza