U.S. stocks edged higher in morning trading Monday, as economists look ahead to Greek debt negotiations in Berlin. Athens and its eurozone creditors remain in a standoff regarding the terms of Greece’s 240 billion euro ($262 billion) bailout deal, with a deadline looming within days.
In morning trading Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI), which measures the share prices of 30 large industrial companies, climbed 44.61 points, or 0.25 percent, to 18,172.26. The Standard & Poor's 500 (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) added 4.58 points, or 0.22 percent, to 2,112.67. The Nasdaq composite (INDEXSP:.INX) added 0.39 points, or 0.66 percent, to 5,027.07.
The S&P 500 index edged higher Monday and traded near its all-time intraday record high of 2,117.52.
Greek Bailout Negotiations Continue
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras are scheduled to meet in Berlin Monday to discuss Greece’s economic reform proposals, which are needed for the country to avoid default and exit the eurozone. Greece and Eurogroup finance ministers reached a deal last month that would extend the country's bailout program until June. Under the terms of the agreement, however, Greece is required to submit an economic reform package that must be approved by its creditors before Athens can receive the remaining bailout money that it needs to avoid bankruptcy. Greece must pay around $1.6 billion in pensions by the end of this week.
Ahead of the meeting Monday, the euro rose more than 1 percent, to $1.09, against the U.S. dollar.
Existing-Home Sales Rebound, Rise 1.2% In February
Data on Monday showed existing-home sales, or sales of previously owned homes, rose 1.2 percent last month, rebounding after sales dropped 4.9 percent in January, the lowest level since last April. Existing-home sales increased 1.2 percent in February, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. Sales are 4.7 percent higher than a year ago.
Harsh winter weather has weighed on sales in the Northeast, which dropped 6.5 percent last month. Sales in the South, however, rose 1.9 percent in February, while sales in the West climbed 5.7 percent.
Economists Look Ahead To Final Revision Of U.S. GDP
The third and final estimate of fourth-quarter U.S. gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the national economy, will be released Friday. The second estimate revealed that GDP was revised lower to an annualized 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, down from an initial estimate of 2.6 percent in January, the Commerce Department reported last month. Economists forecast real GDP grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.4 percent last quarter after surging 5 percent in the third quarter, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Crude Prices Rebound As U.S. Dollar Dips
Oil prices edged higher Monday after the U.S. dollar fell more than 1 percent against other major global currencies. Crude futures had previously dropped to around $55 a barrel after Saudi Arabia’s oil output rose to a near-record high of 10 million barrels per day. Saudi Arabia said it would only consider cutting its production if members outside of OPEC also joined.
Brent crude, the benchmark for global oil prices, rose 1.03 percent, to $55.89 a barrel, for April 15 delivery on the London ICE Futures Exchange. West Texas Intermediate crude, the benchmark for U.S. oil prices, rose 0.09 percent, to $46.99 a barrel, for April 15 delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Below is the economic calendar for the week of March 23. All listed times are EDT.
- 8:30 a.m. -- Chicago Fed national activity index (February)
- 10 a.m. -- Existing-home sales (February)
- Europe -- European Central Bank President Draghi speech
- 8:30 a.m. -- Consumer price index (February)
- 9 a.m. -- FHFA home price index (January)
- 9:45 a.m. -- Markit PMI flash (March)
- 10 a.m. -- New-home sales (February)
- United Kingdom -- Consumer price index (January)
- 8:30 a.m. -- Durable goods orders (February)
- 8:30 a.m. -- Weekly jobless claims
- Japan -- Consumer price index (February)
- Canada -- Bank of Canada Governor Stephen S. Poloz speech
- 8:30 a.m. -- U.S. GDP (final revision Q4)
- 9:55 a.m. -- Consumer sentiment (March)