US STOCKS-Wall St retreats on Iraq worries as data boost fades

martes 24 de junio de 2014 17:06 GYT

* S&P 500 pulls back after hitting intraday record

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* Consumer confidence at six-year high; new home sales top expectations

* Dow off 0.7 pct; S&P 500 down 0.6 pct; Nasdaq off 0.4 pct (Updates to close)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, June 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday as early enthusiasm from economic data faded and concerns about the violence in Iraq gave investors a reason to sell and book some profits, driving the Dow to its biggest drop in over a month.

In the latest signs of improving economic conditions, consumer confidence surged more than expected in June, while new home sales in May rose more than anticipated. The data offered the latest evidence that the economy has regained momentum after stalling during harsh winter conditions.

The S&P 500 climbed to 1,968.17, another intraday record, and then turned lower around midday. The benchmark index had rallied for six straight days before ending Monday's session slightly lower. On Tuesday, the Dow suffered its biggest drop since May 20.

The market's gains evaporated in the afternoon on concerns about an escalation of the conflict in Iraq. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged leaders of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region on Tuesday to stand with Baghdad in the face of a Sunni insurgent onslaught that threatens to destroy the country.   Continuación...