Optimism over Greece raises S&P to record - New York Report

THE S&P 500 ended above 2,100 at another record high yesterday as optimism grew that a debt deal would be reached with Greece and as bond prices sold off.

In a possible sign of progress for Greece, a source told Reuters the country intended to ask for an extension of a loan agreement today.

The report follows a collapse of deal negotiations on Monday, which led to European Union finance ministers pressuring the country to remain in an international financial rescue programme.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 28.23 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 18,047.58, the S&P 500 gained 3.35 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 2,100.34, a record high. The Nasdaq Composite added 5.43 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 4,899.27.

US Treasury debt prices sold off, pushing benchmark 10-year note yields to seven-week peaks, on ex­pectations the Fed could bump up rates as early as June. Minutes from the last Fed meeting are out today.

US-listed shares of the National Bank of Greece ended up 1.2 per cent at $1.63 after falling more than 13 per cent earlier in the session. Shares of Transocean recovered to close flat at $19.05 a day after it slashed its dividend.

Among the fallers, Celsus Therapeutics plummeted 81.4 per cent to $1.15 after it’s lead drug failed a mid-stage study. VBL Thera­peutics dropped 65.5 per cent to $4.87 after it said it would stop developing an experimental drug to fight ulcerative colitis and psoriasis.