US STOCKS-Wall St advances as M&A offsets Iraq worry
* U.S. considering talks with Iran over Iraq
* Medtronic to buy Covidien for $42.9 bln
* New York factory growth climbs in June
* Indexes up: Dow 0.08 pct, S&P 0.24 pct, Nasdaq 0.35 pct (Updates to open, adds quote)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, June 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were slightly higher on Monday, as caution caused by turmoil in Iraq was offset by a round of merger activity.
The United States is considering U.S. air strikes to help the Iraqi government fend off an Islamist insurgency, as well as possible discussions with neighboring Iran, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.
"If the market really didn't back off because of (Iraq), people are concerned, they will keep watching it and unless it really implodes the market is just going to churn," said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities in New York.
Merger activity continued to support the market. Medical device maker Medtronic Inc agreed to buy Dublin-based Covidien Plc for $42.9 billion and shift its executive headquarters to Ireland in the latest move by U.S. firms to harvest lower tax rates abroad. Medtronic shares shed 2 percent to $59.48 while Covidien jumped 23.7 percent to $89.06 as the biggest boost to the S&P 500. Continuación...