Stocks Slide on Greek Default Fears

.S. stocks closed down on Monday after recent euro-zone meetings signaled a Greek default might be sooner than some expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 108.08 points, or 0.94%, to 11,401.01. The S&P 500 lost 11.92 points, or 0.98%, to 1,204.09. The Nasdaq Composite fell 9.48 points, or 0.36%, at 2,612.83.

Greece’s finance minister and international debt inspectors ended a conference call Monday night without a decision on whether the inspectors will return to Athens, a vital point that could affect whether the nation gets more bailout funds or defaults on its debts. As global stocks fell on fears of a Greek default, Athens struggled to convince officials from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund that the country could meet strict budget targets promised in return for the international cash lifeline.

The Obama administration’s plan to rescue the U.S. Postal Service would allow the agency to end Saturday mail delivery and sell non-postal products, according to documents released on Monday. The plan, introduced alongside a deficit-reduction package, also would restructure a massive annual payment to prefund retiree health benefits and refund $6.9 billion the mail carrier says it overpaid into a federal retirement fund.

Oil dropped more than 2 percent Monday on growing concerns about Europe’s ability to solve its credit crisis. Benchmark crude lost $2.26, or 2.6 percent, to finish at $85.70 per barrel in New York. Brent crude fell $3.098, or 2.7 percent, to end at $109.14 in London.

Jefferies Group Inc (NYSE:JEF) has sued Nasdaq OMX Group Inc (NasdaqGS:NDAQ) to recover tens of millions of dollars of alleged losses from being fraudulently induced to enter interest rate swap futures contracts.

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