NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks saw a brief blip of buying late Wednesday afternoon as President Barack Obama prepared to make a statement on a plan of military action against ISIS.
By late afternoon, the S&P 500 was up 0.07%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.03%, and the Nasdaq jumped 0.35%.
Markets have been jittery on Wednesday on high hopes eurozone leaders would come to some kind of resolution in Greek debt talks Wednesday. But as the afternoon wore on, chances looked more and more slim and U.S. stock markets grew impatient waiting for news from the closed-door meeting.
In the meeting in Brussels, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is expected to request a six-month bridge loan as well as agree to 70% of austerity measures already in place. Eurogroup finance ministers have given themselves a Feb. 16 deadline to reach a decision.
"The risks are very strong today that nothing gets ironed out between the EC and Greece, and the sky comes crashing down on Greece. Because as tough as [German Finance Minister] Schäuble sounds, the Greek PM Tsipras has sounded just as tough," said EverBank Global Markets managing director Chuck Butler.
"I want to remain optimistic that some sort of agreement can be worked out. But the logical side of my brain tells me that's a pipe dream. And the risk for today is just too great to not take cover," he added.
Any kind of progress made Wednesday would only be in preparation for next Monday's meeting with no decision expected sooner, according to The Economist journalist Tom Nuttall reporting from Brussels.
Crude oil extended losses on Wednesday after U.S. petroleum inventories gained more than four times expected over the week. The Energy Information Administration said domestic crude stocks increased 4.9 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 6, adding to a current global surplus.
Oil prices were already lower after Goldman Sachs joined a chorus of analysts uncertain as to whether prices have found their bottom. The investment firm predicts the recent drop in U.S. oil rigs has not been enough to stem oversupply.
"After crude's recent rampant rally, fears of rising global inventories and the reality of rising U.S. production pushes WTI back below $50 again," said Schneider Electric commodity analyst Matt Smith.
West Texas Intermediate was down 2% to $48.99 a barrel after a 5% drop a day earlier. Crude has had a rocky start to the year, falling or rising by at least 3% in more than half of trading days so far.
Halliburton (HAL) shares continued to decline, on top of a 2% drop on Tuesday, after it said it would cut at least 5,000 jobs, or between 6.5% and 8% of its work force. The oil company said the decision was due to the slump in oil prices and was separate from its planned acquisition of Baker Hughes (BHI) .
AOL (AOL) beat adjusted earnings estimates, but quarterly revenue of $710.3 million missed expectations by more than $11 million, a result of foreign exchange headwinds. Shares dropped 11%.
Walmart (WMT) slipped 1.1% as the company announced plans to invest around $269 million in 29 new supercenters in Canada. Target (TGT) and Sears (SHLD) recently withdrew stores from the region after failed expansion attempts.
Rite Aid (RAD) surged 9.7% after announcing it will purchase pharmacy benefit manager EnvisionRX, a company with about $5 billion in yearly revenue. The deal, worth $2 billion, is expected to close by September.
Apple (AAPL) remains at record highs after CEO Tim Cook announced a partnership with First Solar (FSLR) to build a California solar farm worth $850 million. Cook, speaking at a Goldman conference, also said the rollout of Apple Pay was "going faster" than planned. Shares hit new highs by the afternoon, up 1.9% to $124.32.
-- Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.