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Midday Market Report: Greece Default Less Likely, Markets Rebound


Greece has convinced 58% of bondholders to agree to the debt swap; it looks like it will be completed on time.

Markets are edging back up after yesterday's drop. Greece is getting closer to clinching the debt swap with private sector investors ahead of Thursday's deadline.

So far, bondholders with 58% of Greek debt eligible for the swap have come on board. The Greek government set a minimum of 75% participation for the deal to go through.

European investors picked up stocks at a bargain today after European benchmark indices shed as much as 3.58% yesterday.
  • The Eurostoxx 50 (^STOXX50E) regained 0.71%, closing the day at 2,460.77.
  • The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) headed up 0.44% to 5,791.41.
  • Germany's DAX (^GDAXI) rose 0.57% to 6,671.11.
The euro regained yesterday's losses against the dollar, rising to $1.3142.

US markets are responding to data that shows that US companies are continuing to hire.
  • The Dow (^DJI) headed up by 0.61%, to 12,836.38.
  • The S&P 500 (SPY) rose 0.65% to 1,352.03.
  • The Nasdaq (^IXIC) popped up 1.01% to 2,939.57.
Earlier today, ADP, a private payroll company, reported a net gain of 216,000 hires in February. A Labor Department report showed that worker productivity increased by 0.9% in the fourth quarter after growing 1.8% in the previous quarter. The slower rate of productivity growth reflects an environment in which companies cannot push existing employees much further. The only way to keep growing in such a situation is to hire more workers.

Financials and consumer-cyclical stocks benefited the most today. The Dow components that hurt the most yesterday mostly bounced back. Bank of America (BAC) shares rebounded by 2.27%, Caterpillar (CAT) shares rose 2.16%.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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