Stocks surge on Greek debt deal optimism; Nasdaq hits record

June 23 00:14 2015

Stocks surged Monday as a relief rally around the globe is underway that sent the Dow up more than 100 points and the Nasdaq to an all-time record high. Stock markets in Europe are up sharply and market action on Wall Street is bullish amid hopes that a revised, last-chance Greek proposal will kick0ff real negotiations at Monday’s emergency meeting of European finance ministers. Even if a deal doesn’t get hashed out today, investors view the improved tenor of the talks as a sign a deal will likely get done later this week._47737308_greece

After the emergency meeting broke up, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chairs meetings on his euro-area counterparts, confirmed that the Greek government earlier Monday submitted a new set of proposals to end the impasse over more aid to Greece. Dijsselbloem told reporters in Brussels, according to Bloomberg, that the proposals were welcomed and that a more complete assessment is still to come.

“It’s an opportunity to get a deal this week and that’s what we’ll work for,” he said. At midday, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 125 points, or 0.7%, to 18,141, erasing all of Friday’s triple-digit loss. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 0.7%. The Nasdaq jumped 0.7% and hit an intraday record high of 5162.13. The Russell 200 also hit a new intraday record. Stock indexes in Europe were up even more. The German DAX is up 3.8%, the CAC 40 in Paris is up 3.8% and the FTSE 100 in London is 1.7% higher. The biggest gains are in Greece, where shares of the Athex composite index are up more than 6%.

Greece, according to reports, has made a number of concessions and reforms to its creditors, including talk of gradually increasing the retirement age for government employees, which would reduce the government’s pension obligations. However, details of the new Greek proposals remain scarce. Still, Martin Selmayr, a senior aide to Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission’s president, wrote in a Twitter post early Monday that the proposals by the Greek government were a “good basis for progress.” Hopes for a deal eventually  getting done has been accompanied today by the resumption of risk-taking by investors, who are betting that a worst-case outcome to the Greek debt deal talks are less likely. Markets, of course, have been volatile in recent sessions as the June 30 deadline for Greece’s $1.8 billlion debt payment to the International Monetary Fund moves ever closer.