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S&P 500 edges to record as investors weigh data, Iraq/AFP

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S&P 500 edges to record as investors weigh data, Iraq

S&P 500 edges to record as investors weigh data, Iraq/AFP

S&P 500 edges to record as investors weigh data, Iraq/AFP

NEW YORK, June 19- The S&P 500 Thursday edged to a new record as investors weighed solid economic data with ongoing violence in Iraq that pushed oil prices to a new nine month high.

The broad based S&P 500 rose 2.50 points (0.13 percent) to 1,959.48, its second consecutive record finish.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 14.84 (0.09 percent) to 16,921.46, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 3.51 (0.08 percent) to 4,359.

The Labor Department reported initial jobless claims fell by 6,000 last week, while the Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators rose 0.5 percent in May.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama offered up to 300 US advisers to train Iraqi forces. Iraqi forces regained control of the nation’s largest oil refinery, but rebels remain in control of swathes of the country.

Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital, said Thursday’s trade showed a “reflecting and pausing market” following recent gains in equities.

Dow component General Electric sweetened its offer to buy energy assets from Alstom, proposing a number of joint ventures and the sale of its profitable rail signaling unit to the French company. GE shares rose 1.0 percent.

Supermarket company Kroger jumped 5.1 percent as it raised its profit forecast for 2014 from $3.14-$3.25 per share to $3.19-$3.27 per share.

Red Hat, an open source software developer, rose 3.8 percent after reporting first-quarter revenue rose 17 percent from the year ago period. The company said it counts 94 percent of the Fortune 500 companies as customers.

Handbag and accessory-maker Coach tumbled 8.9 percent following a downcast investor day. “The bottom line is that a turnaround here is going to take a long time,” Jefferies said of Coach. “Competition is fiercer than ever.”

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Biotech company Celgene rose 4.5 percent after announcing shareholders approved a stock split.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10 year US Treasury rose to 2.62 percent from 2.61 percent Wednesday, while the 30 year increased to 3.46 percent from 3.42 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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