Freeze was among the underwhelmed. "At this point, all the Greek news is just noise," he said. "None of these bailouts really solve the underlying problem. Now if all of a sudden Spain became incredibly solvent and its unemployment rate went to 5 percent, then you'd see" a reason to buy.
Across Europe, there were other reminders that the debt crisis is far from solved. The Banking Association of Spain, a country where hundreds of thousands of borrowers have fallen behind on their mortgages, said it would curb evictions of some struggling homeowners. In Portugal, demonstrators planned protests against a scheduled visit from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Germany helped bail out Portugal last year and insisted that the government there cut spending as a condition of getting the money, a sore point for some in Portugal.
Among U.S. stocks making big moves:
— Leucadia National announced it would buy the investment banking firm Jefferies Group. Jefferies' chief will run the combined company. Leucadia, a holding company with investments in eclectic industries including beef processing and medical products, dropped 66 cents, or 3 percent, to $21.14. Jefferies soared $2, or 14 percent, to $16.27.
— Sherwin-Williams, the paint company, jumped 5.8 percent after announcing it will buy Consorcio Comex, a privately held rival based in Mexico City. Its stock rose $8.22 to $149.06.
— Best Buy leapt after announcing it had named a new finance chief, a former executive of the upscale kitchen store Williams-Sonoma. Analysts hope the new numbers cruncher can help turn around a chain that has struggled to keep up with online competitors. Best Buy's stock rose 55 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $15.85.
Daniel Wagner can be reached at www.twitter.com/wagnerreports.