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Jun 4, 2015 12:10 PM

US stocks head lower following losses in European markets

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) U.S. stocks followed European markets lower on Thursday as a deadline approached in Greece's debt talks. Greece remained stuck in negotiations with its creditors over releasing more emergency funds ahead of a debt payment due Friday.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average slid 126 points, or 0.7 percent, to 17,951 as of 12:01 p.m. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 13 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,102, and the Nasdaq composite lost 24 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,076.

LULL: Trading in the U.S. stock market has turned quiet over the past month as economic growth and corporate profits have looked flat. "It's a stone's throw from an all-time high, and it's also a stone's throw from a yearly low," said Hank Smith, chief investment officer at Haverford Trust.

MERGER TALKS: A report that Dish Networks is talking to T-Mobile US about a possible merger sent both companies' stocks up in early trading. The Wall Street Journal said that the two sides have yet to nail down crucial details, including a purchase price. Dish's stock jumped $4.10, or 6 percent, to $74.91, while T-Mobile's surged $1.57, or 4 percent, to $39.86.

JAMMED: Before the market opened, J.M. Smucker reported a loss in its latest quarter even though sales climbed. The maker of Folger's coffee said higher prices for coffee beans and a strong dollar pinched results. Smucker's stock fell $3.04, or 3 percent, to $11.15.

EUROPE: Major European markets finished broadly lower. Germany's DAX sank 0.7 percent, while the CAC-40 in France fell 0.9 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares lost 1.3 percent. Greece's main index slumped 1.3 percent.

GREECE AGAIN: Greece remains at an impasse with its creditors over key steps after a meeting between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the head of the European Union's executive arm failed to yield an agreement to release vital bailout loans. The two sides remain far apart on issues such as sales taxes and pensions.

ONE VIEW: "It looks like investors put a bit too much stock in the ... meeting last night," said Connor Campbell, a trader at Spreadex.

ASIAN SCORECARD: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.1 percent, and South Korea's Kospi rose 0.5 percent. In China, the Shanghai index finished 0.8 percent higher, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.4 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.4 percent.

CRUDE: Benchmark U.S. crude lost $1.53 to $58.12 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil used by many U.S. refineries, fell $1.45 to $62.35 a barrel in London.

BONDS: U.S. government bond prices rose, nudging yields down. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.34 percent from 2.36 percent late Wednesday.


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