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Market Update

U.S. and European Markets Drop on Political Crisis in Greece


Author: Nichole Harper
ticker.com
Last Update: 2:31 AM ET December 09 2014

11:55 AM New York – Market indexes on Wall Street and in Europe fell more than 1% after Greek political crisis plunged Athens benchmark index more than 13%. In addition, China tightened lending restrictions and held out for slower growth in the second largest economy in the world.

Stocks on Wall Street and in New York opened lower and declined more after crisis erupted in Greece and China curbed risky lending securities.

Over stretched market indexes in the U.S. and Europe turned lower after China restricted types of collaterals than can be used for collateral bonds and also demanded banks to reduce lending for these securities.

Chinese government also held out for slower economic expansion and signaling additional economic slowdown as the second largest economy in the world struggles with a surge in debts and bad loans.

Stocks in Shanghai plunged the most in the year after the government’s move.

On Wall Street trading, Tollbooth Index fell 0.5% or 51.57 to 9,869.08.

S&P 500 index slipped 15.24 or 0.7% to 2,045.05 and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 40.16 or 0.9% to 4,701.25.

Crude oil futures declined 3.7% or $2.45 to $63.39 a barrel and Brent Crude Oil futures fell 4% or $2.82 to $66.25 a barrel.

Greek Crisis Overshadows World Financial Markets

European markets plunged after the benchmark index in Athens tumbled as much as 13% after the government in Athens brought forward presidential election by a month.

The surprise decision to roll forward the presidential election next week may lead to the fall of government and general election in the next six months. The ruling coalition does not have the required two-third majority of 180 votes in a 300-member parliament to for yet-to-be announced candidate.

Euro group – euro zone finance ministers – announced today that they are likely to grant Greece a two-month extension for its bailout but the group may block the last and the third tranche of lending if additional reforms are not carried out.

The opposition party, Syriza has said it would cancel the bailout agreement and not make an agreement with the so-called troika of international lenders; European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and European Commission.

Greece has implemented several incomplete reforms to win a total of 240 billion euros from the troika. But, if the general elections are called earlier, the Greece may face another financial crisis.

U.S. Movers

H & R Block Inc (HRB), the tax and banking service provider reported revenues in the second-quarter ending in October edged up 0.7% to $134.6 million form a year ago period.

Net loss in the quarter widened to $112 million or 41 cents a diluted share compared to $104.9 million or 39 cents from a same quarter last year.

Verizon Communications Inc (VZ), the wireless communication service provider forecasted stronger than expected wireless customer growth in the fourth-quarter.

Verizon estimated 9.5% current post-paid subscriber will upgrade to a new device in the fourth quarter compared to an upgrade rate of 7.4% in the same period a year ago.

The company reiterated capital spending for 2014 is estimated to be about $17 billion.

European Markets

In London trading, FTSE 100 index slumped 1.5% or 101.38 to 6,570.77 and in Frankfurt the DAX index dropped 1.6% or 158.62 to 9,856.37.

In Paris, CAC 40 index declined 1.8% or 76.53 to 4,298.95.

In the European corporate news, ASOS total group revenues climbed 8% to £252 million. Esure Group agreed to acquire remaining 50% stake of Gocompare.com for £95 million.

InterContinental Hotels agreed to sell its Paris-Le Grand hotel for €330 million. Tesco said profit for the year not to exceed £1.4 billion.

ASOS Plc, the U.K.-based online designer apparel retailer said total revenues in the first-quarter ending in November climbed 8% to £252.2 million from £232.7 million a year ago period.

The retailer said UK retail sales surged 24% to £104.8 million while sales from European Union fell 1% and international sales slipped 2%. However, the U.S. retail sales climbed 9% to £23.97 million from a year period.

Tesco Plc, the U.K.-based food retailer reported group trading profit for the fiscal year ending in February 2015 will not exceed £1.4 billion compared to £3.3 billion reported for a year ago period.

After the fourth profit alert, chief executive Dave Lewis said “profits would be far lower than expected because of fall-out from a £263 million accounting scandal” that blighted the retailer since last September.

Asian Markets

Nikkei and Topix indexes closed lower after analysts held out for weaker yen in the next six months. Oil futures declined to a five-year low and metals trended lower after speculators exit the market.

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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