Stocks on hold for Greece, Bernanke

@CNNMoneyInvest February 7, 2012: 8:02 AM ET
premarkets, u.s. stock futures

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks were set to open slightly lower Tuesday, as investors wait for Greek leaders to agree on the terms of a new bailout package, a key step to avoiding a default.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were down between 0.2% and 0.4%. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Investors remain on edge over the fate of Greece, as worries about a default bubble back to the surface. The nation's leaders are expected to meet Tuesday to discuss additional austerity measures.

The government is negotiating reforms needed for Greece to receive a second bailout of €130 billion from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank. Without additional funding, Greece will most likely miss a €14.5 billion bond redemption in March, causing shock waves throughout the global financial system.

Greek unions set to strike over new austerity demands

In addition to Greece, investors will also be turning their attention to Washington on Tuesday. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will be testifying before the U.S. Senate's budget committee at 10 a.m. ET, when he will discuss the economic outlook and the federal budget.

Investors will be especially interested to hear the Fed chief's thoughts on more stimulus measures, the prospects for which continue to dim -- especially after the monster January jobs report.

With little economic or corporate news,U.S. stocks hovered below the breakeven line Monday.

World markets: European stocks were lower in afternoon trading. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) fell 0.6%, while the DAX (DAX) in Germany dropped 1.1% and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) lost 0.7%.

Asian markets ended in the red. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) dropped 1.7%, while the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong and Japan's Nikkei (N225) slipped 0.1%.

Economy: The Federal Reserve will release the consumer credit report for December at 3 p.m. ET. Analysts surveyed by Briefing.com expect the report to show that consumer credit expanded by $8.5 billion in December, much smaller than November's $20.4 billion expansion.

Companies: Commodities trader Glencore International (GLCNF) agreed to buy Xstrata for $61.9 billion, making it the biggest mining takeover in history. The deal will create a $90 billion company.

Investors also have a smattering of corporate results to parse through on Tuesday.

Oil company BP posted increased fourth-quarter profits and raised its dividend on Tuesday. The company hailed the improved result as a turning point in the long climb back from Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010.

But shares of BP (BP) slipped, as investors remain wary of how much the spill will cost following a trial that is set to begin later this month.

Shares of UBS (UBS) lost ground after the Swiss bank posted a 75% drop in its fourth-quarter profit and missed forecasts. The bank also issued a bleak outlook for the current quarter -- noting that concerns over the European debt crisis, U.S. deficit and ongoing uncertainty about the global economic outlook will have a "negative influence on client activity levels."

Yum! Brands' (YUM, Fortune 500) stock spiked after the fast-food operator topped earnings expectations late Monday, thanks to sales growth in China.

Coca-Cola (KO, Fortune 500) shares edged higher after the beverage maker topped earnings and sales estimates for the fourth quarter.

Walt Disney (DIS, Fortune 500) results are on tap after the bell.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar rose against the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen.

Oil for March delivery slipped 66 cents to $96.25 a barrel.

Gold futures for April delivery fell $8.90 to $1,716 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury were little changed, and the yield held steady at 1.91%.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,501.65 0.00 0.00%
Nasdaq 4,148.34 21.37 0.52%
S&P 500 1,878.61 3.22 0.17%
Treasuries 2.69 0.00 0.07%
Data as of 11:12pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Facebook Inc 60.87 -0.49 -0.80%
Bank of America Corp... 16.34 -0.03 -0.18%
Microsoft Corp 39.86 0.17 0.43%
Verizon Communicatio... 46.28 -1.15 -2.42%
Micron Technology In... 26.16 -0.09 -0.34%
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