(AFP) – Jun 20, 2011
NEW YORK — US stocks climbed as markets opened Monday, shaking off concerns about the Greek debt crisis, even as US banks were battered by fears of contagion from Europe's financial sector.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 20.43 points (0.17 percent) to 12,024.79 in the first half-hour of trading.
The broader S&P 500 edged upwards 0.93 point (0.07 percent) to 1,272.43, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 5.47 points (0.21 percent) to reach 2,621.95.
Earlier on Monday, European stock markets dived on concerns about Greece, led by shares in European banks with exposure to Greek debt.
Following an emergency meeting on Sunday, eurozone finance ministers told Greece that it would be eligible for 12 billion euros of loans in July, but only if Greek lawmakers passed a deeply unpopular austerity package.
"The market has been weighed down by the renewed sense of uncertainty on this matter," said Patrick O'Hare, an analyst with Briefing.com.
In New York, share prices of US banks took a beating. JPMorgan Chase fell 1.2 percent, Goldman Sachs fell 1.3 percent, Bank of America fell 1.0 percent and Citigroup fell 0.5 percent.
Shares of PNC Financial Services fell 2.5 percent after the Pittsburgh-based bank announced that it was buying the US retail banking unit of Royal Bank of Canada for $3.45 billion.
Besides Greece, investors will be closely watching this week's Federal Reserve meeting of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee.
The two-day FOMC meeting that opens Tuesday is not expected to produce a change in interest rates, which have been held between zero and 0.25 percent since December 2008 to stimulate the economy.
Bond prices rose on Monday. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note fell to 2.92 percent from 2.94 percent on Friday, while that on the 30-year bond dropped to 4.18 percent from 4.21 percent.
Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.
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