Stocks Struggled to Turn Higher on Greece Concerns

U.S. stocks struggled to turn higher in early trading on Monday, as a delay in emergency loans to Greece raising the risk of a potential bond default. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was lately up 15.82 points at 12,020.18. The S&P 500 was up 1.15 points at 1,272.65. The Nasdaq Composite was up 6.10 points at 2,622.58.

Euro zone finance ministers applied intense pressure on Greece on Monday, saying it had to approve stricter austerity measures before a final decision is made on a further 12 billion euros in loans.

Greece faced power outages on Monday as employees at the main power utility began 48-hour rolling strikes to protest the company’s privatization, part of austerity plans needed to avoid a national debt default.

Oil fell to the lowest in four months in New York, bringing its decline from this year’s peak to 20 percent. Crude for July delivery fell as much as $1.87 to $91.14 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

China’s effort to cool home prices is damping the market for existing homes, with prices in May falling from the previous month in 23 of 70 cities measured. That’s more than the 16 cities that posted declines in April, data from the National Bureau of Statistics posted to its website June 18 showed.

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. said Monday that it is buying the U.S. retail operations of Royal Bank of Canada for $3.45 billion. PNC said that the transaction will bring its total to 2,870 branches and make it the fifth biggest among U.S. banks. RBC Bank (USA), based in Raleigh, N.C., has 424 branches and about $25 billion of assets.

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