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Market Update

Markets in New York and Europe Stay Relaxed as Greek Talks Turn Hostile


Author: Nichole Harper
ticker.com
Last Update: 11:45 AM ET February 17 2015

11:45 AM New York Stocks in New York advanced and several indexes flirted with new highs with large and small cap indexes trading at new highs. Tollbooth Index and S&P 500 index traded at record highs. Germany led the improving economic expansion data in the euro zone.

U.S. stocks eased in trading after a 3-day weekend and investors focused on the latest earnings and developments in the euro zone.

Market indexes traded lower and the Nasdaq Composite Index tracking technology and smaller companies declined 0.2% and the index is only 2% from its all-time high after the index soared to a new 15-year high at the close of last week.

Investors took in stride the latest flare up between finance ministers of Greece, Germany and Holland.

The risk of Greece defaulting on the debt payment rose after the talks broke down for the release of next tranche of bailout. And, the prospect of Greece leaving the currency union heightened in the event of a default.

Investors are factoring the Greece to compromise at the last minute and stay in the union but the intransigent attitude of Greece has raised tempers across the euro zone.

On Wall Street trading, Tollbooth Strategy Index slid 0.1% or 11.09 to 10,514.80.

S&P 500 index fell 5.11 or 0.2% to 2,091.88 and the Nasdaq Composite Index slid 8.72 or 0.2% to 4,885.26.

U.S. Movers

Genuine Parts Company (GPC) gained 1.2% or $1.18 to $98.19 after the automobile parts distributor reported sales in the fourth-quarter ending in December increased 9% to $3.82 billion from a year ago period.

Net income in the quarter soared 10.7% to $166 million or $1.07 per diluted share compared to $150 million or 97 cents from the same quarter last year.

The company said sales in the year jumped 9% to $15.3 billion from a year ago period and net income rose 4% to $711 million compared to $685 million in 2013 and diluted earnings per share increased to $4.61from $4.40 in 2013.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (GT) increased 1.8% or 49 cents to $26.39 after the tire-maker stated net sales in the fourth-quarter ending in December plunged 9% to $4.35 billion from a year ago period.

Net income in the quarter soared 834.2% to $2.13 billion or $7.68 per diluted share compared to $228 million or 84 cents from the same quarter last year.

The company added net income increased mainly due to one-time tax benefit of $2.2 billion in the fourth-quarter.

Waste Management, Inc (WM) climbed 4.5% or $2.29 to $53.58 after the waste management service provider reported revenues in the fourth-quarter ending in December fell 1.7% to $3.44 billion form a year ago period.

Net in the quarter swung to profit $590 million or $1.28 per diluted share compared to a loss of $605 million or $1.29 from the same quarter last year.

European Markets

European markets turned cautious after tensions flared between finance ministers of euro zone and Greece and investors took a relaxed view that an agreement will be struck at the last minute at the end of the month when Greece is expected to run out of money.

Market tone was defensive and German bonds strengthened after the euro zone finance ministers issued an ultimatum to Greece to seek an extension of bailout for new loans with no revisions in debt terms.

Greek market index declined 1% and the euro gained 0.7% to $1.143.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index rose 0.1% or 8.73 to 6,865.78 and in Frankfurt the DAX index fell 0.4% or 43.41 to 10,879.82.

In Paris, CAC 40 index slid 0.1% or 5.81 to 4,746.14.

Brit Plc surged 10.9% to 303.85 pence after the U.K.-based insurer agreed to acquire by Canada-based financial service provider Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd for about 1.22 billion or $1.88 billion, representing a premium of 11.2% to the closing price of Monday.

Under the terms, shareholders of Brit will receive 305 pence in cash per of the company, including any final dividend for the year ended December 2014.

CaixaBank SA dropped 2.5% to 4 after the Spain-based commercial bank announced a takeover bid for 55.9% stake of Portugal-based lender Banco BPI SA for as much as 1.09 billion or $1.24 billion.

Asian Markets

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc