U.S. dollar is only sure thing

February 11, 2015 11:35 AM

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U.S. stocks fluctuated, Treasuries fell and the dollar advanced as investors awaited an outcome from Greece’s showdown with its creditors. European equities dropped, and crude plunged.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped less than 0.1% at 11:37 a.m. in New York, after Tuesday erasing losses for 2015. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.3%, with the ASE Index down 4%. Greece’s three-year note yield climbed 120 basis points to 20.71%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose two basis points to 2.01%, a one-month high. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index added 0.4%, while Brazil’s real sank to a 10-year low. U.S. crude sank below $50 a barrel.

Germany and Greece headed into an emergency meeting with official creditors today with conflicting positions, setting the stage for a clash. The discord is renewing turmoil in Greek markets. President Vladimir Putin will go to Minsk to negotiate a truce in Ukraine as Russia signaled a deal is likely. Oil fell as U.S. crude stockpiles and output advanced to the highest level in more than three decades.

“People have their eyes on two issues -- one is earnings, which look pretty good, and the other is any headlines coming from Europe,” Walter Todd, who oversees just over $1 billion as chief investment officer for Greenwood, South Carolina-based Greenwood Capital Associates LLC, said in a phone interview. “Because we’ve been here before multiple times in the past five years with Greece, investors have become a little more numb to the events.”

Earnings Watch

The S&P 500 rallied 1.1% Tuesday to approach an all- time high reached Dec. 29, as gains in Coca-Cola Co. and General Motors Co. helped spur advances. The fourth 1% surge in seven days pushed the S&P 500 past levels where previous rallies failed and within 25 points of a record.

Among shares moving Wednesday, PepsiCo Inc. increased 2% as fourth-quarter profit topped estimates even as currency headwinds eroded sales. Rite Aid Corp. added 9.6% after agreeing to buy EnvisionRX for about $2 billion. Pier 1 Imports Inc. tumbled 29% after cutting its full- year forecast. Chevron Corp. dropped 1.4% to pace losses among energy producers.

PepsiCo, Cisco Systems Inc. and MetLife Inc. are among 19 S&P 500 companies reporting earnings today. About 77% of those that have posted results this season have beaten analysts’ profit estimates and 56% topped sales projections, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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