A mixed start to stock trading in US; Chinese stocks plunge

AP News
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Posted: Jun 26, 2015 9:59 AM
A mixed start to stock trading in US; Chinese stocks plunge

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were mostly higher in early trading Friday as negotiators continue to work toward a solution to Greece's debt problems.

Chinese stocks plunged 7 percent as fears spread that a yearlong bull rally there has become overheated. The market is up more than 100 percent over the past year.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 59 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,948 as of 9:50 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose two points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,104 and the Nasdaq composite fell five points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,107.

GREEK TALKS: Global investors are watching closely as Greek debt talks go down to the wire. On Thursday, a key meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Greece's rescue package broke up without an agreement. The 19 ministers are due to meet again Saturday.

Greece needs a deal to pay 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) to the International Monetary Fund due Tuesday. Failing to do so would put the country on a path toward default and an exit from the euro.

"While these deadlines can quite often be taken with a pinch of salt, Greece has literally run out of time on this occasion," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

JUST DO IT: Nike shares rose $4.39, or 4 percent, to $109.58 after the athletic shoe and apparel maker posted quarterly results that beat analysts' expectations.

SHANGHAI SLUMP: While Greece has been the main driver in financial markets recent, worries over China have risen up the list of concerns. On Friday, Chinese stocks plunged more than 7 percent. The Shanghai composite closed at 4,391.91. It was 5,300 only two weeks ago.

"Although I continue to be optimistic about the longer-term trend of the China markets, it's clear that we are in a sharp correction phase," said Bernard Aw of IG Markets in Singapore.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 83 cents to $58.89 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 50 cents to $62.70 in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro was down at $1.1180 while the dollar was up against the Japanese yen at 123.87 yen.