NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It was a wishy-washy type of day on Wall Street as mixed messages on Greece confused market direction.
On the one hand, reports Greece might concede to a six-month extension to its current bailout package were met with a sigh of relief. On the other, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made clear the nation would not bend so easily.
U.S. equities managed to eke out slight gains, with the the S&P 500 rising 0.14% to close at a new high, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 0.12%. The Nasdaq climbed 0.11%.
Greek officials reportedly will ask for an extension to the current program on Wednesday, two days earlier than the deadline eurozone finance ministers had imposed, Reuters reported. Earlier, Tsipras said parliament would vote to remove austerity measures on Friday, arguing the country would not "succumb to psychological blackmail."
Discussions between Greece and eurozone finance ministers broke down on Monday after Greek officials refused to accept a proposal for a six-month extension to the country's current bailout package. Greece has been seeking a more lax agreement that would continue to offer billions in relief but scrap restrictive austerity measures.
Greek debt talks haven't hurt stocks too much yet, but the calm could be a precursor to a storm on the horizon. "Admittedly such a 'Grexit' would probably cause less upheaval now than it would have done three or so years ago," said Capital Economics economist Kevin Ferriter. "But it is hard to see how the initial reaction at least would be anything other than positive for safe-haven assets and negative for others."
There was more trouble for Ukraine on Tuesday as both sides of a civil conflict failed to meet a cease-fire agreement over the weekend. Continued in-fighting between Ukraine and Russian-backed rebels threatens Russia's economy as the likelihood of further international sanctions increases.
Telecom VimpelCom (VIP) slid more than 2%, Moscow-based Mobile TeleSystems (MBT) - Get Report declined 2.7%, and search engine Yandex (YNDX) - Get Report tumbled 2.3%. The Direxion Daily Russia ETF (RUSL) - Get Report fell 1.1%.
StarwoodHotels & Resorts (HOT) was rising, up 2.7%, after President and CEO Frits Van Paasschen resigned from his position. Van Paasschen, CEO since September 2007, will be replaced by director Adam Aron until a permanent replacement is hired.
Goodyear Tire (GT) - Get Report climbed 2.8% after beating analysts' estimates on its top- and bottom line over the first quarter. The company said it expects segment operating income to climb 10% to 15% over this fiscal year.
Biotherapeutic drug developer Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT) - Get Report surged nearly 16% following an upgrade to 'buy' from 'neutral' at Bank of America. Analysts also upped their price target to $21 from $19.
-- Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.