Stocks Rise Despite Escalating Tensions in Iraq

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's Friday the 13th and things aren't always what they seem. Despite pointing to a weak start to the day in premarket trading, U.S. indices gained some early-morning momentum to open in the green, even with macroeconomic pressures and light economic incentive undercutting confidence. 

The S&P 500 gained 0.4% to 1,936.94, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% to 16,777.41, and the Nasdaq rallied 0.5% to 4,316.95. These aren't stellar gains but a promising trend after two consecutive days of losses

The FTSE stumbled 1% after Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney said he expects a British interest rate increase to come sooner than expected. Economists had expected a rate hike no sooner than the first quarter of 2015.

The situation in Iraq is fracturing as Islamist rebel forces moved closer to Baghdad after capturing two more towns overnight. Contributing to unease, President Obama said Thursday that U.S. military strikes against Sunni Islamist militants are under consideration. Though oil prices have soared on impending conflict, markets have fallen.

On the homefront, the Labor Department said U.S. producer prices posted a surprising drop in May, down 0.2% from April's 0.6% increase (its largest gain in 18 months). Economists had expected a more tempered 0.1% increase. 

The University of Michigan Sentiment Index for June declined to the lowest level in three months and came in below economist's forecasts.

Priceline  (PCLN) said it's buying online restaurant reservation company OpenTable  (OPEN) for $2.6 billion. 

Priceline said it would pay $103 a share, a 46% premium to OpenTable's closing price Thursday of $70.43. OpenTable soared 47% on Friday to $103.53. Priceline fell 1.8% to 1,204.21.

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