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U.S. stock-index futures indicated Wall Street could extend its slump on Friday as traders remained cautious on the situation in Iraq.
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As of 8:34 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 29 points, or 0.17%, to 16649, S&P 500 futures dipped 2.8 points, or 0.16%, to 1920 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1 point, or 0.03%, to 3766.
Wall Street's smooth ride higher hit turbulence this week as the situation in Iraq rapidly destabilized. Numerous major cities have been seized by rebels that are an offshoot of terrorist group Al Qaeda. The tumult sent U.S. crude oil futures shooting higher -- toping the $107 a barrel mark for the first time since September. The benchmark contract recently traded higher by 43 cents, or 0.4%, to $106.95 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline advanced 0.12% to $3.088 a gallon.
"The events of this week in Iraq will have some profound reshaping of geopolitical maps not only in the Middle-East but also in Europe," Olivier Jakob, managing director at Swiss-based energy consultancy Petromatrix, wrote in an e-mail to clients, adding, "crude oil has gone through a period of very low volatility but it came back with a revenge."
It's worth noting that the U.S. Energy Department ranks Iraq the world's eight-biggest producer of oil. Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are the two biggest.
On the economic front, the Labor Department reports inflation at the wholesale level fell 0.2% in May, compared to expectations prices would rise 0.1%. Excluding the food and energy components, prices fell 0.1%, compared to an expected gain of 0.1%. Another set of data due out at 9:55 a.m. ET will shed fresh light on consumer sentiment.
In corporate news, Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) said it would by OpenTable (NASDAQ:OPEN) for $2.6 billion in cash.