U.S. stocks were mixed in early trade on Wednesday with Nasdaq turns negative after Greece’s parliament approved key austerity bill to prevent a debt default.
The S&P 500 Index advanced 5.15 points, or 0.40 percent, to trade at 1,301.82 at 10:00 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 22.21 points, or 0.18 percent, to trade at 12,210.90. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.19 percent.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou won a parliamentary majority in favor of a five-year austerity plan, which is necessary for Greece to receive its bailout money from the EU and IMF to avoid default.
The Greek parliament approved a five-year austerity plan on Wednesday with 155 votes in favor and 138 votes against. It must now win approval on Thursday for legislation detailing specific implementation measures for the 28 billion austerity package.
On the economic front, the National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index, a forward-looking indicator that looks at contracts signed for existing homes, rose 8.2 percent in May compared to revised 11.3 percent decline in April.
On the corporate front, Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) shares advanced 3.47 percent to $11.20 on news that the bank is nearing an $8.5 billion settlement with high-profile investors over mortgage loans. The latest settlement is considered as the single biggest tied to the subprime mortgage boom that led to the financial crisis of 2008. It will also help the bank to put the countrywide woes behind it.
AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE:AKS) shares gained 3.53 percent to $15.27 after the company stock was upgraded to “buy” rating from “hold” rating at Deutsche Bank.
Monsanto Co. (NYSE:MON) shares gained 3.99 percent to $69.60 in early trade. The company reported third quarter net income of $1.26 per share compared to $0.81 per share in the same quarter last year.
KB Home (NYSE:KBH) shares plunged 6.63 percent to $11.44. Its second quarter loss widened to $68.5 million or $0.89 per share compared with net loss of $30.7 million or $0.40 per share in the same quarter last year.
The euro advanced 0.01 percent to 1.4373 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.44 percent against the greenback.
Crude oil futures gained 0.40 percent to $93.26/barrel and gold futures gained 0.44 percent.
European stock markets are currently trading higher with FTSE 100 up by 62.23 points, DAX30 up by 102.51 points and CAC 40 up by 55.91 points.