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Monday Morning Business Brief

June 16, 2014, 5:34 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief
NEW YORK -

The widening insurgency in Iraq is raising fears on Wall Street that if oil prices continue to rise because of the violence in OPEC's No. 2 producer, U.S. economic growth in the second half of the year could fall short of estimates. But despite the problems, the stock market ended higher Friday. The S&P 500 climbed six points. The Dow gained 41 and the Nasdaq rose 13. Futures point to a lower opening as the trading week begins.

  • International stock markets mostly declined today as the turmoil in Iraq dampened sentiment and investors held back ahead of the Federal Reserve's monthly policy meeting later in the week. Benchmark crude oil rose above $107 a barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and fell against the yen.
     
  • The National Association of Home Builders will release its housing market index for June today. Also, the Federal Reserve will report America's industrial production numbers for May. On Tuesday, the Commerce Department will report May housing starts and the Labor Department will release the Consumer Price Index for May.
     
  • A European Central Bank policymaker is voicing concern that Europe may be too tough on banks as they undergo "stress tests" to measure their financial resilience. European officials are trying to make this year's new round of tests tougher than a 2011 version passed by some banks that then had to be bailed out. But Austrian national bank governor Ewald Nowotny, a member of the ECB's governing council, expressed his concern in comments to a German daily.
     
  • Greenpeace International has acknowledged losing 3.8 million euros ($5.2 million) on a bet the euro would not strengthen against other currencies in 2013- but it did. The environmental group, which is based in Amsterdam, said the money was lost by a now-fired employee who acted beyond the limits of his authority but had hoped to benefit the organization. Greenpeace is apologizing to supporters for the blunder and says there's no evidence of fraud. The group pledged not to reduce spending on campaigns to protect the environment.

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