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Equities Turn Lower As Tension In Iraq Spikes Crude Oil Prices


Major indexes are down on Thurs, but each lost no more than 1%. Big movers are in the commodities space, starting with oil. Crude is reaching the highest level since last Sept at 106 and change. It's all because of the escalating tension in Iraq. Sunni Islamist militants surrounded the country's largest refinery in the Northern city of Baiji on Thurs. Repairs to some of the pipelines are reportedly being halted. The situation poses a big threat to the country's oil exports. Iraq is the second largest OPEC producer and the Baiji refinery outputs 310,000 barrels a day. Industries are moving consequently. Airlines are sinking on the concern of higher oil prices. Delta Air Lines is down 6% at end of the day. Southwest Airlines is down nearly 5% as well. The Dow Jones Transportation Average lost 2%. In the U.S., the number of people applied for jobless benefits increased 4,000 last week to 317,000. That's more than the expected 310,000. The 4-week average, which a less volatile measure, also increased to more than 315,000.