US STOCKS-Wall St dips, investors seek clarity on Greece deal

viernes 20 de febrero de 2015 11:06 GYT

* Investors look for signs of progress with Greece deal

* Deere shares fall after results, Intuit rises

* Indexes down: Dow 0.6 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.3 pct (Updates to open of U.S. trading)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Feb 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Friday, with the Nasdaq set to break a seven-session streak of gains, amid ongoing uncertainty over negotiations for a debt deal in Greece.

In a positive sign, the new prime minister of Greece said he was certain that euro zone finance ministers would accept Athens' request for an extended loan, while Germany seemed to soften its tone after earlier this week rejecting Greece's proposal for a loan extension.

However, Maltese Finance Minister Edward Scicluna told the weekly Malta Today that the EU's biggest countries may be prepared to let Greece leave the euro zone. The CBOE Volatility index rose 5.1 percent, but at 16.07, the so-called "fear index" remains below its long-term average around 20.

While U.S. equities have little direct exposure to Greece, a relatively small economy in the euro zone, Wall Street has risen recently on any sign of progress in reaching an accord. Investors are concerned that if no deal is reached, forcing Greece out of the euro zone, that will lead to extended volatility with a major trading partner.

"We're not pricing in dramatic risk from Greece, but the fear is that if Greece leaves the euro zone, that would just be the first domino to fall in a catastrophe," said Tom Digenan, head of U.S. equities at UBS Global Asset Management in Chicago.   Continuación...