Greek Stock Market Reopens To Plunge

After a five-week shutdown, Greece’s stock market reopened Monday — and promptly plummeted.

The Athens stock exchange tumbled nearly 23 percent after weeks of financial unrest that threatened the country’s membership in the eurozone and also dinged global stock markets.

Despite the ongoing issues in Greece, U.S. stocks started the day slightly higher, but then entered the red in midday trading. European markets were also trading slightly higher Monday, while Asian markets remained down in midday trading.

Market watchers say the ongoing issues in Greece, China’s stock market volatility and an impending Federal Reserve rate hike are behind the ups and downs in investor sentiment.

At 11:02 a.m. EDT, Nike Inc.’s shares were down 0.78 percent, Wolverine World Wide Inc.’s stock had fallen 1.93 percent, Deckers Brands had declined 1.04 percent, Steve Madden Ltd. was down 2.54 percent and Skechers USA Inc. had lost 2.09 percent.

U.S. stocks were also losing ground in midday trading.

At 11:06 a.m. EDT, the Dow had lost 74.48 points, or 0.42 percent, to land at 17,615.38; the Nasdaq had slipped 2.78 points, or 0.05 percent, to 5,125.50; and the S&P 500 had declined 2.55 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,101.29.

Insiders say August can be a tough month for stocks at any time, explaining some declines. But analysts say there a few factors keeping them optimistic about the footwear and apparel industries overall.

Citi Research analyst Kate McShane noted that total U.S. retail visits were down a whopping 9.42 percent year-over-year in the fourth week of July, yet with a coming shift forward in the U.S. tax holidays, she anticipates some rebound in the weeks ahead.

“Weather [for the first week of August] is expected to start off warm, with two cool fronts bringing temperatures lower as they move across the North and Ohio Valley to the East,” wrote McShane in an Aug. 3 note. “The cooler weather should be beneficial for back-to-school and should support the 11 tax holidays this week.”

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