(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) U.S. equity markets were flat overnight on concerns that Greece could exit the euro as the region's gather for an informal meeting.
BY the close the Dow Jones had eased seven points to 12,496, with the NASDAQ adding 11 points to 2850.
Greece's finance ministry Wednesday denied that a teleconference of the Eurogroup Working Group had agreed that each euro zone country should prepare contingency plans in case Greece leaves the bloc.
There had been hopes ahead of the meeting Wednesday that leaders would take some action to contain the worsening government debt crisis, but hopes fizzled as Germany continued to refuse the idea of jointly-issued eurobonds that could help mitigate the crisis by spreading debt risk across the single currency zone.
European leaders are meeting to find a way to keep the region's debt crisis from spiraling out of control and are seeking ways to promote jobs and growth.
In corporate news, newly-listed social network Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is facing several class-action lawsuits claiming that information was hidden from shareholders regarding the company's weakened growth forecasts ahead of its 16-billion initial public offering (IPO) last week.
Investigators are also looking into whether Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter for Facebook's initial public offering last week, selectively shared a negative assessment of the social network with major clients ahead of the IPO.
After the closing bell, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) is due to issue quarterly earnings as is expected to announce a wave of layoffs that could total 35,000 employees, or about 10 percent of its workforce.
Staying with computers, Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) tumbled in trading Wednesday as sales and earnings declined and it forecast lower-than-expected revenues in the current quarter. Sales in the three months to May 4 were four per cent lower than a year ago at 14.4 billion.
Closeout retailer Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) announced fiscal first-quarter results Wednesday which fell short of Street forecasts as it cut its full-year guidance on lackluster US sales. For the quarter that ended April 28, net sales rose to 1.29 billion from 1.22 billion a year earlier.
On the economic front, reports came out saying new single-family home sales rose solidly in April and prices pushed higher, offering further evidence the housing market was turning the corner.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday sales increased 3.3% to a seasonally adjusted 343,000-unit annual rate after a 332,000-unit pace in March.
On the NYMEX, crude futures for July delivery slipped 1.70, or 1.8%, to 90.17 a barrel while gold futures for June delivery tumbled 39, or 2.5%, to 1,536.80 an ounce.
European stocks were sharply lower with the FTSE 100 and CAC 40 losing 2.5% while the DAX fell 2.3%.