Wall Street Hit as Iraq Worries Flare Up

By MarketsFOXBusiness

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. stocks took a blow on Thursday, pushing the S&P 500 into the red for the third day in a row, as worried swirled over the situation in Iraq.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 110 points, or 0.65%, to 16734, the S&P 500 declined 13.8 points, or 0.71%, to 1930 and the Nasdaq Composite dipped 34.3 points, or 0.79%, to 4298.

After days of essentially straight-up action, Wall Street pulled back somewhat on Wednesday. The worst losses were actually taken by the narrow Dow, as several heavyweights skidded into the red.

The losses were extended on Thursday as the situation in Iraq worsened. A terrorist group that was previously part of Al Qaeda has seized numerous key cities in Iraq, and is now threatening to move on Baghdad. At stake is progress made during a U.S.-led invasion of the country years ago. The instability could also draw in regional players, like Turkey and Iran.

The Commerce Department reported retail sales rose 0.3% in May, below the 0.6% increase Wall Street expected. Excluding the auto component, sales rose 0.1%, missing the 0.4% rise anticipated.

The Labor Department said prices for imported goods rose 0.1% in May, a shallower increase than the 0.2% Wall Street anticipated. Export prices rose by the same margin in May, matching economists’ expectations.

A separate report from Labor showed the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits rose last week to 317,000 from an upwardly revised 313,000 the week prior. Wall Street expected claims to fall to 310,000 from an initially reported 312,000.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures jumped $1.75, or 1.7%, to $106.15 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 1.6% to $106.15 a barrel. Gold climbed $3.10, or 0.25%, to $1,264 a troy ounce.

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