US stock market falls as talks over Greek loan extension remain difficult

EnergyAssociated Press

The U.S. stock market fell in early Friday trading as investors looked for a breakthrough in the difficult negotiations between Greece and its European creditors over its debt repayment plan.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 99 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,887 as of 10 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 11 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,086 and the Nasdaq composite was down 17 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,907.

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GREEK CONCERNS: Greece has asked for a six-month loan extension that might keep it from falling out of the euro. The country is facing stiff opposition from a group of eurozone nations, led by Germany, which says Athens must stick to the painful reforms, spending cuts and tax increases long demanded in exchange for the loans. Greece's new government has balked at the idea of more budget cuts. Germany insists there is no way the loans can be extended without budget conditions.

ANALYST TAKE: "Any agreement will require difficult compromises from both sides," wrote Athanasios Vamvakidis, strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in a note to investors.

EUROPE: The major indexes in Europe were mostly lower, with Germany's DAX down 0.3 percent, France's CAC-40 down 0.8 percent, and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 up 0.1 percent. In Greece, the Athens composite was down 0.6 percent.

FOOD OFF THE TABLE: Food supplier Sysco rose 74 cents, or 2 percent, to $39.30 after the Federal Trade Commission sued to stop Sysco from acquiring US Foods.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was flat at $51.81 in electronics trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

CURRENCIES: The U.S. dollar fell to 118.55 yen from 119.04 yen the previous session, while the euro fell to $1.1284 from $1.1368.