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Stock Futures Adrift as Iraq Tensions Persist

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were little changed Monday as investors considered mixed global economic data and tensions in Iraq after the S&P 500 reached yet another record high to end last week.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 1 point, or 8.08 points below fair value, to 16,857. S&P 500 futures were up 0.5 points, or 0.97 points below fair value, to 1,953.75. Nasdaq futures were down 2.5 points, or 2.94 points below fair value, to 3,790.8. The S&P 500 closed higher by 1.38% last week as the Dow inched closer toward 17,000, driven by the Federal Reserve's reaffirmation of supportive monetary policy but restrained from further upside by the continue conflict in Iraq.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Iraq on Monday to meet with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as radical Sunni militants seized control of one city after another in their violent advance toward Baghdad. There have been calls for al-Maliki to resign from his post amid growing doubt that he'll be able to form a new, inclusive government to ease the crisis in Iraq.

In Asia, markets started well, buoyed in part by a stronger-than-expected HSBC preliminary purchasing managers index flash for China unexpectedly showing a return to growth in June after five months of contraction. But China stocks traded in Hong Kong put in a poor performance, especially in the automotive sector. European stocks were hit by disappointing eurozone purchasing managers indices from Markit, with a particularly sharp drop in France to a four-month low and well into contraction territory.

A key housing report will be released at 10 a.m. EDT. U.S. existing home sales for May are expected to show an uptick to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.73 million from a 4.65 million pace in April. The Markit Flash PMI Manufacturing Index for June will be released at 9:45 a.m..

Stocks to watch Monday include Oracle (ORCL - Get Report), Micros Systems (MCRS), Micron (MU) and General Electric (GE). Oracle is close to a deal to buy Micros Systems, which sells software used by retailers and hospitality providers, for about $5 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. Micron Technology, the flash memory giant, is expected by Wall Street on Monday to report fiscal third-quarter earnings of 70 cents a share on revenue of $3.89 billion. The final obstacle to General Electric's $17 billion takeover of Alstom's power division has been overcome after the French government agreed to terms with the French engineering company's main shareholder.

In more company headlines, BNP Paribas and U.S. prosecutors have agreed to broad terms of a deal in which the bank would pay $8 billion to $9 billion and accept other punishment based on what investigators said is evidence the bank intentionally hid $30 billion of financial transactions that violated U.S. sanctions, the Journal reported, citing people close to the investigation.

-- By Andrea Tse in New York

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ORCL $36.27 -1.71%
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