THE GREEK debt crisis continued to play havoc with Wall Street stocks, after the International Monetary Fund warned Athens ahead of its Sunday referendum that it faces a huge financial hole. Meanwhile, mixed jobs data dampened the US economic outlook.
While the IMF was warning that Greece needed an extra €50bn euros over the next three years to stay afloat, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was urging voters to reject a bailout offer from lenders and saying he hoped to sign a new deal on Monday.
Trading volume remained low ahead of a long weekend. US markets will not open today in observance the Independence Day holiday.
Slowing US job growth in June tempered expectations for a Federal Reserve interest rate increase in September.
Nonfarm payrolls increased 223,000 last month, below the 230,000 expected by economists, while average hourly earnings were unchanged in June, taking the year-on-year rise to a paltry two per cent.
The Fed has said it will raise rates only when data shows a sustained economic recovery.
The utilities sector was the best performer in the S&P, rising 1.4 per cent. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 27.8 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 17,730.11; the S&P 500 dipped 0.64 points, or 0.03 percent, to 2,076.78, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.91 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 5,009.21.
All three indexes fell for the week, with the S&P 500’s decline the biggest since March.