US STOCKS-Wall St slides on concerns about Iraq

jueves 12 de junio de 2014 16:45 GYT

* Obama warns of U.S. action as jihadists push toward Baghdad

* Oil prices jump on Iraq anxiety

* Dow off 0.7 pct; S&P 500 down 0.7 pct; Nasdaq off 0.8 pct (Updates to close)

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, June 12 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Thursday as concerns escalated about Iraq and after disappointing economic data on retail sales and jobless claims.

The three major U.S. stock indexes ended off their session lows. With the day's decline, though, the S&P 500 was down for three straight sessions for the first time since early April.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 100 points for the second day in a row.

Hours after ethnic Kurdish forces took control of the oil hub of Kirkuk after the Shi'ite-led government's troops abandoned their posts, President Barack Obama was asked if he might order drone strikes or other action to halt the insurgency that has seized much of northern Iraq this week.

Obama told reporters that he refused to rule out U.S. action in Iraq against Sunni Islamist militants who have surged out of the north toward Baghdad, threatening to divide the country and establish their own jihadist state.   Continuación...