European markets are called to open negative this morning.
Asian stocks fell, headed for their longest weekly losing streak since 2004, amid concern that Greece may default on its sovereign debt and potentially derail a global economic recovery.
The region’s key stock index fell as much as 0.8 percent today, having earlier advanced as much as 0.3 percent. Esprit Holdings Ltd., a global fashion retailer that gets most of its revenue from Europe, slid 3.9 percent in Hong Kong. Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, sank 4.1 percent. Samsung Electronics Co. slumped 4.5 percent in Seoul after Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM), which makes BlackBerry phones, said quarterly revenue may drop.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.6 percent to 129.06 as of 2:37 p.m. in Tokyo, swinging between gains and losses at least three times.
U.S. stocks closed mixed on Thursday as weakness in the tech sector countered stronger-than-expected reports on the housing market and unemployment.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 64 points, or 0.5%, to 11,962. The S&P 500 (SPX) rose 2 points, or 0.2%, to 1,268; and the Nasdaq Composite lost 8 points, or 0.3%, to 2,624.
Stocks see-sawed throughout the day, with the Dow rising as much as 90 points and falling as much as 20 points. Technology shares dragged the broader market lower, with Netflix falling 3%, while Apple, Qualcomm and Nvidia dropped 2% or more.
Deepening worries about Greece’ debt continue to keep investors on their toes until a bailout for the country is agreed upon by eurozone officials.
As protesters continued to rally against austerity measures Thursday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou reportedly said he will introduce a new government and take a vote of confidence in Parliament.
Stocks were in danger of extending the losses from Wednesday, when the Dow fell nearly 180 points on gloomy manufacturing data and news that eurozone officials failed to agree on a rescue plan for Greece.
The losses have been part of a steady weakening in U.S. stocks since the start of May, with the major indexes on track to decline for a seventh straight week. The S&P is within 11 points of going negative for 2011. The index opened the year at 1,257.64.
Events this week
Friday: The University of Michigan will release its initial June consumer sentiment index at 9:55 a.m. ET. Economists are looking for the index to fall to a reading of 73.5 from May’ reading of 74.3.