* S&P 500 coming off first close above 2,100
* Investors looking to Fed minutes for hints of rate timing
* Exxon down in premarket, Berkshire drops investment
* Dow up 2 pts, S&P down 1.5 pt, Nasdaq up 1.25 pt
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Dow Futures were flat on Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 ended above 2,100 for the first time ever, as investors waited to see whether a debt deal would be reached with Greece.
* Wall Street stocks have been tied to signs of progress or difficulty with Greece’s bailout program of late, even though the United States has little direct exposure to the country. Market participants are concerned that if a deal isn’t reached by Feb. 28, when a bailout program for Greece expires, that could lead to higher volatility throughout the euro zone.
* European shares were sharply higher on the day, hitting a seven-year high after the Greek government confirmed it would ask for an extension to its loan agreement. Shares in Greek banks rose 8.2 percent.
* Despite that, the situation in Greece remains uncertain, with the government in Athens also looking to renegotiate Greece’s debts. Some caution lingered in the United States, where the U.S.-listed shares of the National Bank of Greece fell 7.4 percent in premarket trading.
* Investors are also looking ahead to minutes from the January meeting of the Federal Reserve for hints about whether the central bank might change the language of its next policy statement to flag a possible increase in interest rates, which could come as early as June.
* Exxon Mobil Corp fell 2.1 percent to $ 91.11 in premarket trading a day after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc disclosed that it had shed a $ 3.74 billion investment in the oil giant amid weaker commodity prices. Berkshire also disclosed a 5 percent stake in Deere & Co.
* Crude oil fell 1.5 percent to $ 52.75 per barrel, snapping a three-day streak of gains over 1 percent. While oil is up almost 19 percent from a recent closing low, it remains down more than 50 percent from a high reached in June.
* Fossil Group Inc sank 13.4 percent to $ 86 in light premarket trading after the company reported earnings and revenue that missed expectations and said first-quarter net sales would fall 7.5 percent.
Futures snapshot at 6:50:
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 1.5 points, or 0.07 percent, with 63,198 contracts changing hands.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 1.25 points, or 0.03 percent, in volume of 9,014 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were up 2 points, or 0.01 percent, with 10,314 contracts changing hands.
(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
- Investment & Company Information
- National Bank of Greece