US Shares Decline on Retail Figures Amid Iraq Chaos

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US stocks declined, with the Standard & Poor’s Index dropping for the third day, after economic data showed an increase in unemployment claims and retail sales grew slower than anticipated.

Delta Airlines Inc slid the most in the S&P 500 as the price of oil rose after tension in Iraq exposed supplies to potential interruptions. Newfield Exploration Co and Noble added at least 2.4% as energy firms soared. Hewlett-Packard Co ascended 1.7% after Goldman Sachs Group Inc upgraded the computer-maker’s stock.

The S&P 500 dropped 0.3% 1,937.29 as of 11:56 in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 58.09 points or 0.3% to 16,785.79. The volume of stocks traded in S&P 500 was 5.6% lower than the average for the last 30 days at the particular time of the day.

“People are looking for a reason to sell stock right now. The numbers were a little disappointing. You can’t make new highs every day,” Raymond James and Associates’ Dan McMahon to Bloomberg in a phone interview.

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Investors are observing the situation in Iraq, where Islamic militants gained more ground after taking the country’s second-biggest city, as the US considered Iraqi call for military backing. Oil soared to a high seen last seen eight months ago, as the violence increased the possibility of return to civil war in Iraq, the second-biggest oil producer in OPEC.

Retail sales gained 0.3% in May, half the rate analysts had predicted. Although the data was below projections, it was not interpreted as too weak to the extent of hurting the theory that economic conditions are improving, with the market’s recent rising curve being seen as unaffected.

“The market has had a fantastic run and this is just a healthy and routine pause we’re in right now. The bull market is old and wrinkly, but nowhere near dead,” Paul Schatz of Heritage Capital told Reuters.

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To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com