Market Indices Down After Fears of Greek Contagion

S&P 500 TumblesWall Street opened lower on Wednesday, July 8, on worries over Chinese financial instability and Greece’s debt crisis remaining unsolved.

The main Chinese index, the Shanghai Composite, plunged nearly 30% from mid-June. On Wednesday, the Shanghai Index dropped by 6.75%. Trading on nearly half of every stock listed was halted.

The S&P 500 opened in red territory; down 15.03 points at 2,066.20 at the beginning of the trading session. As of 9:35 a.m. E.T., all the U.S. indices were trading lower.

Top Market News Today

A Meltdown in Chinese Markets

There is fear that China’s market turmoil will destabilize the country’s economy, risking the entire global financial system. A slump in commodities markets reflected a broader skepticism of the health of the second-largest world economy. Prior to mid June, the Chinese stock market had more than doubled.

No Resolution Over Greece Crisis

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras insists he has “no hidden agenda” to drive the country out of the eurozone. He repeatedly said that his only goal is to strike “a fairer, more sustainable agreement.” Greece has a deadline until Thursday to present a new proposal to its creditors.

Fed Minutes Eyed

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes will also be in focus. The central bank is widely expected to raise interest rates in September. Today’s minutes will provide investors with a better insight as to how Fed Chair Janet Yellen sees the economy, as well as a timetable for when she expects to tighten monetary policy.

Stocks to Watch

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ/MSFT)

Microsoft announced a new round of layoffs as the software giant seeks to cut costs and adapt to a changing technology landscape. The company said it would eliminate up to 7,800 jobs—more than six percent of its total staff—with most of the cuts coming in its mobile division.

Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE/HOG)

Analysts at RBC Capital Markets downgraded shares of Harley-Davidson from “Outperform” to “Market Perform,” citing weak demand for new motorcycles and accessories.

Barclays PLC (LSE/BARC.L)

Barclays ousted Chief Executive Officer Antony Jenkins. Jenkins had been in the job three years after replacing Bob Diamond. The replacement is part of the pace to increase shareholder returns.