S&P 500 Pares Drop on Greek Poll, Report of IMF Talks on Spain

U.S. stocks reversed losses as a Greek opinion poll showed support for the largest pro-bailout party and a report indicated the International Monetary Fund has started discussing contingency plans for a rescue of Spain.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.3 percent to 1,309.66 at 12:49 p.m. in New York, trimming an earlier drop of 1.1 percent. The index is down 6.3 percent in May, poised for its worst month since September. The Dow Jones Industrial Average erased a decline of as much as 103 points.

A Greek opinion poll before June 17 elections showed New Democracy, the largest pro-bailout party, leading Syriza, which calls for the cancellation of the country’s bailout terms. Of 1,128 people surveyed by Marc SA for Athens-based Alpha TV, 26 percent said they’d vote for New Democracy, 24.3 percent for Syriza and 12.5 percent for the Pasok party, which also supports the bailout program.

The Wall Street Journal reported on its website that the European department of the IMF has started discussing contingency plans for a rescue loan to Spain in the event that the country can’t find enough money to bail out the Bankia group.

The IMF is not preparing financial aid for Spain, nor has the country asked for a loan, a spokesman for the fund said.

“There’s been no request for financial assistance from Spain and the IMF is not making plans for financial assistance to Spain,” Gerry Rice, the IMF’s director of external relations, told reporters in Washington today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael P. Regan in New York at mregan12@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Baker at nbaker7@bloomberg.net

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