WALL STREET: United States stocks climb on Greek optimism, more deal news

“We will work very hard in the next few days, the institutions with the Greek government, to get that deal this week”, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the head of the Eurogroup of Eurozone finance ministers, said Monday at a news conference in Brussels. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 99.89 points, or 0.6 percent, to 18,015.95.


The Nasdaq Composite 36.97 points, or 0.7% to 5,153.97, the highest level ever.

[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks rose in opening trade on Monday, following European equity markets higher on hopes of a breakthrough in negotiations to avert a Greek debt default.

Equities have been largely driven by the situation in Greece of late, with investors concerned that if the country defaults on its loans, it may have to leave the euro or the European Union, potentially shaking the region’s economic foundations.

“An eleventh hour compromise was always the likely scenario and it looks like that is what we are getting”, said Russ Koesterich, global chief investment strategist at BlackRock. Germany’s DAX rallied 2.8% and France’s CAC-40 jumped 2.7%.

Cigna’s shares rose 8.2 percent to $168 in premarket trading after the health insurer rebuffed Anthem’s $47 billion merger proposal on Sunday. Anthem, which runs the largest Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance network, was up $6.94, or 4.2 percent, to $172.00. Aetna was up 0.7 percent at $125.

Confirming that it received a highly condition, non-binding proposal from Anthem (ANTM), Cigna (CI) said its board has determined that the proposal is inadequate and not in the best interests of its shareholders.

Carnival Corp. rose 3.5 percent in premarket New York trading after Deutsche Bank AG said the cruise line operator’s second-quarter earnings may beat forecasts, and raised its recommendation on the stock to buy.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 3 cents to $59.64 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for worldwide oil used by many U.S. refineries, fell 48 cents to $62.54. The Russell 2000 also touched a new intraday high.

Away from Taylor Swift, shares of Williams surged after the natural-gas pipeline giant said over the weekend that it had rejected an unsolicited buyout offer worth US$48bn. Cigna was up $9.51, or 6 percent, to $164.73.

In corporate news, Sequential Brands (SQBG) will buy Martha Stewart Living (MSO) for $6.15 a share in cash and stock.

Greek yields on 10-year and 2-year bonds fell sharply from highs hit on Thursday.

United States treasuries are lower, with the benchmark 10-year yield up about six basis points, or 0.06 percentage points, at 2.33%.

The U.S. dollar traded flat, with the euro creeping up to $1.138.