Markets continue to focus on politics

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Politics will continue to dominate the calendar today, with activity shifting from the United States to Greece.

Lawmakers in Athens are expected to vote on budget cuts in the afternoon, local time, likely putting the results in the midst of U.S. trading. While the austerity measures are widely unpopular, they are considered necessary for the debt-laden country to receive a bailout and avoid default. If the efforts fail, it could weaken sentiment, especially toward European financials.

There are two other relatively minor data points. At 7 a.m. ET, the Mortgage Bankers Association will publish weekly data on loan applications. Activity slowed last week by 4.8 percent.

The Energy Department follows with crude-oil inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET. Last week they rose by 2 million barrels.

Neither release is tracked by economists. A positive reading would be bullish for the MBA number because it would reflect more lending, while a negative reading would be positive for energy because it would suggest that stockpiles are being consumed more rapidly than they're replaced.

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