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US stocks dip on mixed data, Iraq

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US stocks Monday opened slightly lower following mixed economic data as markets kept an eye on the growing Iraq crisis.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 22.99 points (0.14 percent) to 16,924.09.

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.74 (0.04 percent) to 1,962.13, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 0.89 (0.02 percent) at 4,367.15.

HSBC bank said its preliminary purchasing managers index (PMI) for China, which tracks activity in factories and workshops in the world's second-biggest economy, came in at 50.8 in June, the highest level since November.

But the good news in China was offset by disappointing data from Europe.

Markit Economics said eurozone composite PMI for June, a leading indicator of overall economic activity, slipped to 52.8 points from 53.5 in May, coming in at the weakest level since December.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as Iraqi security forces struggle to hold their ground in the face of an insurgent onslaught that has seized major areas of the country in the past two weeks and a border crossing with Syria.

The upheaval in Iraq has been a major factor in the rise of oil prices to nine-month highs.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140623/us-stocks-dip-mixed-data-iraq