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Market Update

World Markets Grow Comfortable to Potential Greek Exit

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 12:18 PM ET February 20 2015

12:15 PM New York U.S. market indexes turned lower from record highs after Greece and euro zone ministers began debt talks in Brussels as the deadline looms. Crude oil extended losses for the third day in a row. Nordstrom rose on earnings and Intuit gained narrowed loss.

U.S. stocks traded in tight range for the third day of this short trading week as investors digested the latest batch of earnings.

Greece and leaders in the euro zone returned to negotiating table one more time but with heightened stakes after finance minister of Malta said there is a growing consensus in letting Greece leave the current union if the nation desires.

The euro edged lower 0.6% to $1.1291 and crude oil declined 36 cents in New York to $50.80 a barrel.

On Wall Street trading, Tollbooth Strategy Index nearly flat at 0.04 to 10,571.62.

S&P 500 index slid 2.12 or 0.1% to 2,095.21 and the Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 1.68 or 0.04% to 4,926.48.

U.S. Movers

Deere & Company (DE) fell 31 cents to $91.40 after the agricultural and turf equipment maker reported revenues in the first-quarter ending in January plunged 16.6% to $6.38 billion from a year ago period.

Net income in the quarter tumbled 43.2% to $386.8 million or $1.12 per diluted share compared to $681.1 million or $1.81 from the same quarter last year.

Nordstrom, Inc (JWN) climbed 3.9% or $3.04 to $80.18 after the fashion specialty retailer reported net sales in the fourth-quarter ending in January jumped 9% to $ $3.9 billion from a year ago period. Total comparable store sales in the quarter climbed 4.7%.

Net earnings in the quarter declined 4.8% to $255 million or $1.32 per diluted share compared to $115.3 million or $1.37 from the same quarter last year.

The retailer forecasted net sales for the year to climb between 7% and 9% and comparable store sales to jump in the range of 2% to 4%.

European Markets

Market indexes in the euro zone were in holding pattern as leaders in the region gather one more time to discuss the latest proposal from Greece.

Tempers are running high and for the first time ministers and bureaucrats are entertaining the prospect of Greece leaving the currency union.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Executive Board member Benoit Coeure are expected to join along with Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

The talks today in Brussels are expected to be inconclusive and may extend to Sunday or Monday and most investors have begun to shift attention away.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index edged up 0.08% or 5.17 to 6,894.07 and in Frankfurt the DAX index slid 0.3% or 30.09 to 10,971.85.

In Paris, CAC 40 index fell 0.6% or 29.33 to 4,803.95.

In Frankfurt trading, the euro traded slightly lower and Greek depositors yanked close to one billion euros in each of the last two days ahead of three-day weekend.

Markets in Europe are closed on Monday and Greek depositors are worried that a Cyprus-style capital control maybe put in place if talks fail this weekend.

Danone SA fell 0.3% to 58.95 after the France-based dairy and baby food maker reported sales in the year ending in December fell 0.7% to 21.14 billion from 21.30 billion a year ago period.

Net profit in the quarter plunged 21.1% from a year ago to 1.12 billion compared to 1.42 billion and diluted earnings per share dropped to 1.88 from 2.42.

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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