Greek drama and Chinese data hits US - New York Report

INTERNATIONAL economic news disappointed the US market yesterday as stocks fell on worries about Greek debt negotiations and disappointing Chinese economic data on top of uncertainty about US interest rates.

After the market’s strong week last week, nine out of 10 S&P sectors finished down yesterday, with healthcare and utilities the worst performers. Only energy finished up slightly, boosted by rising oil prices.

“I think it’s just general nervousness about Greece,” said Rick Fier, director of trading at Conifer Securities in New York. “When earnings are over, then it becomes a geopolitical type scenario.”

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras ruled out any extension of its international bailout on Sunday and announced moves to reverse some of the reforms imposed by its lenders. National Bank of Greece’s US-listed shares fell 7.4 per cent.

China’s exports fell 3.3 per cent from a year ago while imports tumbled 19.9 per cent, far worse than expectations.

The utilities sector was down 0.9 per cent, extending losses from Friday as investors worried about rising interest rates.

High valuations also sent investors away from health stocks , sending that sector down 1.1 per cent.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 95.08 points, or 0.53 per cent, to 17,729.21, the S&P 500 lost 8.73 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 2,046.74 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 18.39 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 4,726.01.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals rose 7.8 per cent on news its experimental hepatitis-C drug eradicated signs of the virus after six weeks.