Markets Digest Several Events
A number of events are set to influence the markets on Tuesday, including good news from Greece and its creditors and comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - 00:00
The Fed chair begins her first day of testimony to Congress on Tuesday morning, during which she may indicate the timing for the next interest rate increase. Meanwhile, the European Commission supported the latestGreek bailout program proposal, according toThe Wall Street Journal.
US stocks were flat at the open on Tuesday as American investors await the Yellen comments. The S&P 500 was little changed, while the Dow opened 0.1% higher and the Nasdaq fell by 0.1%.
Investors brace for Yellen comments
Analysts expect Janet Yellen to take a hawkish stance in regards to interest rate hikes, reported MarketWatch. Her address at 10 AM EST will likely influence which way the markets turn for the day, and may indicate when the Federal Reserve is prepared to raise interest rates, something that has been anticipated for some time.
“We expect she will want to preserve policy flexibility, keeping the prospect of a midyear rate hike on the table; this may impart a mildly hawkish tone, especially in light of the recent minutes release,” analysts at Credit Suisse noted to MarketWatch.
Yellen’s address is not the only data that will impact Tuesday’s US market. The Labor Department will release February’s consumer confidence index on Tuesday morning, which will play a role in how the Fed measures the American economy.
Greece takes steps toward bailout
Recent opinions that Greece and its creditors would eventually work things out – despite little evidence – turned out to be true, according to The Journal. The two groups came to an agreement on Greece’s most recent bailout proposal, putting the beleaguered nation on track to a four-month extension on its current expiring bailout.
The list of proposals from Greece is a good first step, but the conversation is by no means completely over.
“In the commission’s view, this list is sufficiently comprehensive to be a valid starting point for a successful conclusion of the review, as called for by [eurozone finance ministers],” commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told The WSJ. “We are notably encouraged by the strong commitment to combat tax evasion and corruption.”
Along with the commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund must also review the list and determine its strength.
In the meantime, Greek stocks gained following the news that the debt debate may be reaching a resolution. Athens’ benchmark index rose over 8% in early afternoon trade, local time.
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