The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) fell for the third day in a row as the Greek debt deal looks to be delayed.



Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average -6.74 [-0.05%] 12,653.72
S&P 500 (Nasdaq: ^GSPC) -3.32 [-0.25%] 1,313.01

The Dow opened down after German Chancellor Angela Merkel declined to discuss Greece this morning at a European summit in Brussels. The reason given was that the governing bodies that oversee the Greek bailout packages are still in talks with Greece, banks, and other bondholders. Investors believe a second debt bailout is needed to keep Greece from defaulting.

The rest of the day, though, was a slow climb for the Dow, and it nearly ended up.

Top winner
(Nasdaq: MSFT) was today's top stock. The company finished up $0.38, or 1.3%, to $29.61. Microsoft has been on a tear so far this year, up 14%. Fool analyst Patrick Martin has found a lot to like about the company's offerings this year and decided to buy the stock.

Top loser
Bank of America
(NYSE: BAC) was today's top loser. The company finished down $0.22, or 3%, to $7.07 on the Greek debt news and a downgrade by Goldman Sachs from buy to neutral. Fool analyst Sean Williams has written about what you need to know about the Greek debt talks.

Foolish bottom line
The Greek debt situation moved the Dow today. With earnings season in full swing, there are plenty of companies out there that investors need to watch, since they could also move the Dow. In the Fool's "Fourth-Quarter Earnings Report: 7 Stocks You'll Want to Watch," you'll find information on this quarter's possible big performers. It's completely free for our readers, so access your free report today.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.