Stocks are nearly flat this morning as investors monitor the progress of a possible Greece bailout, digest a slew of economic data, and eye Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's written testimony at 10:00 am EST and the European Union Economic Summit on Thursday.
The S&P 500 is down 1.55 points, or 0.14 percent, to trade at 1,068.97 at 9:50 am. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.08 percent, or 8.17 points, to trade at 19,050.47.
Yesterday, reports surfaced that Germany is in talks to lead a European coalition to offer loan guarantees to struggling member nations.
World markets today moved in-line with expectations of a bailout. The stock markets for Greece, Spain, and Portugal generally rose more than those of other European nations.
The cost of ensuring the debt of Greece, Spain, and Portugal fell today while that of Germany modestly rose. If Germany does guarantee Greece's debt, its probability of default should increase with the added burden.
Due to a snow storm in Washington today, Bernanke will not testify in person before a Congressional panel. His written testimony is expected to include his exit strategy from the nation's current level of high liquidity.
Before the opening of the U.S. stock market, significant economic reports were released.
U.K. reported better than expected manufacturing numbers and its central bank expects inflation to be at 1.2 percent in two years.
China met expectations for imports and missed expectations for exports. Exports still grew 21 percent year-on-year and China surpassed Germany as the world's biggest exporter. Trade deficit unexpectedly widened for the U.S. as petroleum imports rose.
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