Stocks Turn Upwards After Obama Calms Jittery Markets on Iraq - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Stocks Turn Upwards After Obama Calms Jittery Markets on Iraq

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(NBC) -- Stocks turned positive on Friday after President Obama calmed nervous investors by saying American troops would not be sent to Iraq, where fighting has raised concerns about oil supplies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell over 100 points on Wednesday and Thursday and was down in early trading, rallied after Obama's comments and was 23 points higher in early afternoon trading. The S&P 500 gained 3 points and the Nasdaq was 8 points higher.

Obama offered an update on the situation in Iraq, with the president saying the United States was offering Iraq's government logistical support, but would not be sending troops back into that country.

"We'll be monitoring the situation very carefully over the next couple of days," Obama told a televised news conference. "So far we have not seen major disruptions in oil supplies," the president said in response to a reporter's question.

Earlier, Secretary of State John Kerry said he expects Obama to make "timely decisions" on Iraq, given the gravity of the insurgency in a nation that produces about 3.3 million barrels of crude a day.

"There is concern that a spike in oil prices already at elevated levels could choke off consumer spending," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.

"The market got pounded two days in a row and is taking a rest going into the weekend. It's the reverse of the first quarter, where nobody wanted to be long over the weekend. All the bad news is on the table, so maybe investors want to play this one flat. We can pound the market again on Monday," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank.

Data Friday showed producer costs dropped in May, casting a benign light on inflation. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan reading on U.S. consumer sentiment in June came in at 81.2 - below expectations.

Crude futures for July delivery rose 9 cents to $106.62 a barrel; gold added 50 cents to $1,274.50 an ounce.

The dollar gained as did Treasury yields, with the 10-year note lately at 2.613 percent.

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