US recovery, Q2 profits on watch list

With investors keeping an eye out for the final second-quarter earnings results due this week, the market could be headed for volatile trade on signs that the US recovery is showing signs of stalling. On Friday, the Athens bourse’s benchmark general index dipped slightly to 1,547.01 points, retreating 2.69 percent for the week. After the close of trade on Friday, the country’s largest lender, National, reported a 79 percent drop in first-half profit to 146 million euros, hurt by one-off tax charges, mark-to-market valuation losses in its Greek sovereign bond portfolio and higher provisions for nonperforming loans. Analysts were expecting a figure of around 132 million euros. More first-half figures are expected from Folli Follie and Eurobank EFG today while tomorrow it will be Alpha Bank’s and Intralot’s turn. Across the Atlantic, Wall Street may be in for another rocky week, as traders brace for negative employment data, expected on Friday, that could dampen economic recovery prospects.