US STOCKS-Wall St ends flat while investors await Greece, Ukraine news

miércoles 11 de febrero de 2015 17:26 GYT

* PepsiCo climbs after results, Wal-Mart off on Canada plans

* Utilities fall; Apple rises after Icahn letter

* Indexes: Dow off 0.04 pct, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 0.28 pct (Updates to late afternoon, adds commentary)

By Sinead Carew

NEW YORK, Feb 11 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 index finished unchanged on Wednesday as investors were reluctant to make big bets while they waited for the outcomes of major talks involving Greece and Ukraine, but Apple helped boost the Nasdaq after an activist investor's bullish comments.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis began tense talks with euro zone finance ministers on Wednesday after his new leftist-led government won a parliamentary confidence vote refusing extend an international bailout. International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde said going into the meeting that the process would likely take time.

"The Greek situation is the one that's on the front burner right now. It's keeping money on the sidelines," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.

Adding to the market's uncertainty, the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine began peace talks in Belarus, while in Ukraine pro-Moscow separatists tightened the pressure on Kiev by launching some of the war's worst fighting.

The Nasdaq was boosted late in a lackluster session by a 2.3 percent gain in Apple Inc shares after activist investor Carl Icahn issued a letter saying the iPhone maker should be valued at $216. Apple closed at $124.88.   Continuación...