Stocks Slide on Greek Fears

U.S. stocks began sharply lower on Wednesday, on intensifying concern Greece could exit the euro ahead of a meeting of European leaders. The Dow Jones industrial average lately dropped 73.56 points, or 0.59 percent, to 12,429.25. The S&P 500 Index fell 5.95 points, or 0.45 percent, to 1,310.68. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 13.30 points, or 0.47 percent, to 2,825.78.

The impact of a Greek exit from the euro zone would be substantial but “manageable”, Germany’s Bundesbank said on Wednesday, raising pressure on Athens to keep its painful economic reforms on track.

Facebook Inc. shares rose as the stock seeks to reverse its two-day losing streak. Facebook lost 19% of its value over the last two days as investors sought to make sense of what led to the company’s disappointing initial public offering.

Toll Brothers returned to profitability in the second quarter as a growing confidence in the beleaguered housing market drove up home deliveries and the company reported a backlog. The homebuilder earned $16.9 million, or 10 cents per share, for the three months ended April 30. A year earlier it lost $20.8 million, or 12 cents per share.

Oil fell on Wednesday on growing hopes of a deal between Iran and the U.N. nuclear watchdog, which eased fears of oil supply disruption. Brent crude fell $1.39 to $107.02 per barrel. U.S. July crude fell $1.08 to $90.77.

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