US STOCKS-Wall St ends up slightly on M&A; Iraq closely watched

lunes 16 de junio de 2014 16:52 GYT

* Medtronic to buy Covidien for $42.9 bln

* U.S. considering talks with Iran over Iraq

* Crude oil rises as Iraq violence spurs supply worry

* Dow flat; S&P 500 up 0.1 pct; Nasdaq up 0.2 pct (Updates to close)

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, June 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed slightly higher on Monday, supported by a flurry of merger news, but turmoil in Iraq drove oil prices up and kept trading choppy.

Energy stocks were the day's winners, with the S&P energy index up 0.5 percent. The S&P financial sector index was the biggest decliner, down 0.4 percent.

The United States said it is considering air strikes and cooperation with its arch-enemy, Iran, to help the Iraqi government fend off an Islamist insurgency.

"Iraq is an excuse at this point for investors to sell at these levels. As soon as there is some selling, buyers come in almost immediately, and that is why the market is choppy like today," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.   Continuación...