Stocks closed only modestly lower in the U.S. on concerns about the falling oil prices and political unrest in Greece, but Apple helped lift the Nasdaq. Bobbi Rebell reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~****~ Stocks slid for the second straight day. Pressuring the Dow and S&P 500: jitters over the continued fall in oil prices, political unrest in Greece, and speculation that the Fed will change its language on interest rates. But Apple's rally helped lift the Nasdaq. In economics news, jobs openings rose to a near 13-year high, and small business optimism shot up to its highest level in nearly eight years. Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries: SOUNDBITE: STAN HUMPHRIES, CHIEF ECONOMIST, ZILLOW (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think 2015 is going to be a period in which we're going to see both growth in jobs themselves and good paying jobs, hopefully." Investors cheered the news of the sudden retirement of Abercrombie & Fitch's controversial CEO. Michael Jeffries occupied the corner office more than two decades as the teen apparel retailer grew, but he couldn't stop the two-and-a-half-year long slide in same-store sales. Telecom stocks tumbled. Price wars are hurting Verizon Communications. The U.S.' largest service provider warned that promotions and price cuts at its wireless business would cut into quarterly profit. That news also stung the stocks of rivals AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile US. Bank stocks took a hit after Bank of America and Citigroup warned that trading revenue would weaken in the current quarter. In Europe, a steep fall in Greek stocks pulled European shares sharply lower.