NEW YORK – Stocks edged higher Tuesday as investors waited for a deal between Greece and its creditors. Greece faces defaulting on its debt without new loans, but appeared to be moving closer to an agreement to secure new funding.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 24.29 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,144.07. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 1.35 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,124.20 and the Nasdaq composite rose 6.12 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,160.09.
Prepaid debit card company Green Dot was among the biggest gainers. Its stock soared 40 percent after the company announced it had renewed its partnership with Wal-Mart for another five years. Netflix climbed in after-hours trading following the company’s announcement that its board had approved a plan to split its stock.
Stocks added to gains from Monday, as reports from Europe suggested that Greece’s proposals for budget savings appeared to have won initial approval from the nation’s creditors. European finance ministers are scheduled to meet on Wednesday.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras still has to sell the proposals to his own political party. His Syriza party was voted into office on a pledge to repeal the harsh budget cuts and tax increases that previous governments had imposed since 2010 in return for loans.
“We always knew there was going to be a lot of drama with Greece,” said Kristina Hooper, U.S. investment strategist at Allianz Global Investors. “Having said that, if things do take a turn for the worse, the E.U. is far better equipped to handle this crisis compared to a few years ago.”
In the U.S., investors also remain focused on when the Federal Reserve might increase its key interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade.
Fed Governor Jerome Powell said at an event hosted by the Wall Street Journal that he expects the U.S. central bank to begin raising its benchmark interest rate in September, with a second rate rise coming in December.