After Market: War in Iraq Has U.S. Investors Running for Cover

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The new surge of fighting in Iraq further roiled U.S. markets Thursday, and sent airline stocks into a tailspin. The price of light sweet crude oil jumped by $2.53 a barrel to $106.93 as the Sunni militant group ISIS captured several key cities, raising worries about Iraqi oil production.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 109 points -- its second straight triple digit loss -- the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 34, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) lost 13 points.

Airline stocks had benefited from relatively stable oil prices over the past year, and rising prices could hurt earnings. United-Continental (UAL) slid 6½ percent, American Airlines (AAL) and Delta (DAL) lost 5 percent and Southwest (LUV) fell 4½ percent. Even with that drop, Southwest shares are still up 85 percent from a year ago.

On the other side of the oil ledger, some drilling companies rallied. Noble (NBL) and Transocean (RIG) both rose 3 percent and Diamond Offshore (DO) gained nearly 4 percent.

Some of the big global oil companies also gained. Chevron (CVX), BP (BP), Royal Dutch (RDS) and Conoco Phillips (COP) all rose about 1 percent, but Exxon (XOM) was little changed.

Lululemon (LULU) was one of the day's big losers, tumbling 16 percent after reporting sharply lower earnings and reducing its guidance for the year.

But Restoration Hardware (RH) jumped 13 percent as net and sales at the home furnishings retailer both topped expectations.

And Lands' End (LE) rose 8½ percent as earnings rose in its first quarterly report since being spun off from Sears (SHLD). Despite today's gain, Lands' End is off about 14 percent since it began trading independently.

Amazon (AMZN) fell 2½ percent after launching a music streaming operation linked to its Prime delivery service.
Also in the Internet and social media arena, Facebook (FB) and Netflix (NFLX) both fell about 2 percent, and Google (GOOG) lost more than 1 percent. But Twitter (TWTR) gained 3½ percent on a report it may shake up its roster of top executives.

Finally, a pair of low-priced biotechs rallied. Geron (GERN) jumped 21 percent after the FDA lifted a hold on clinical trials of its drug to treat myelofibrosis.

And Zalicus (ZLCS) soared 39 percent on positive test results for its rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

What to Watch Friday:
  • The Labor Department releases the Producer Price Index for May at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
  • The University of Michigan releases its initial survey of Consumer Sentiment for June at 9:55 a.m.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

The Best Deals on Father's Day Gifts
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After Market: War in Iraq Has U.S. Investors Running for Cover
Most of the best tool deals we saw last June were for inexpensive hand tool sets, although we did see excellent prices on saws, storage and combo kits. And the best part is that most of these deals were store markdowns -- some as high as 70 percent off -- so there's no need to worry about whether you've missed a coupon that will yield a better price. Moreover, many items were available at a very affordable price of $10 or less, so you could theoretically put together a package of, say, a shovel, a wrench, a flashlight and a pruner for under $40. SearsHome DepotTrue ValueAmazon, and Ace Hardware all had exceptional offerings.
Electronics were by far the category with the most Editors' Choice deals last June; in fact, 25 percent of the deals in this arena were marked as superb, and they included speaker, headphones, phones and TVs. Bundles including store gift cards were often what made the deal sweet, so be sure to check out sellers like Dell and Newegg -- both known for including credits in their offerings -- if you're seeking a steal on a gadget for dad.
June is the biggest month of the barbecuing season when it comes to the number of grill deals. Last year, we saw 75 deals related to grills in June. That's second only to May, when we saw 76. Unfortunately, June isn't the best month to get the lowest price (that comes later in the season), but there are still plenty of discounts, so you definitely shouldn't be paying retail. In fact, we saw deals that slashed up to 50 percent off around this time last year. So while some of the Editor's Choice level deals were on accessories -- such as grill pans and recipe books -- there should be no shortage of options if you're looking to pick up a grill for dad's special day.
Last June, we saw more than 100 deals related to the sports and fitness category, with Editors' Choice prices on everything from sports equipment to apparel and decor. Camping equipment, athletic shoes, and exercise accoutrements were some of the most frequently discounted items, making them good Father's Day gifts to seek out. Whether dad likes playing outdoors, getting fit in the comfort of his air conditioned home, or looking at a giant photo of his favorite quarterback on his office wall, you should be able to get a deal on something right up his alley. This sport and fitness guides has more gift ideas.)
A tie may be the stereotypical lazy/unwanted Father's Day gift, but there's something to be said for keeping dad in fashion. And with more than 1,700 clothing and accessory deals listed last June, odds are that you'll be able to find something that suits dad's fancy. We saw all-time low prices on shoes, jackets, sunglasses and pants, as well as strong general sales from merchants as varied as adidasPumaMacy'sAllen EdmondsExpress and American Eagle. Year-round items like activewear made up a big chunk of the Editors' Choice deals, but some were decidedly non-summery, like dress pants. With discounts as high as 92 percent off, though, there's no reason to limit yourself to seasonal buys.
So what'll it be? A drill? A sports coat? An upgraded tablet? Whatever you choose, dad will probably love it. And now that you know what to look for, you can be proud of your deal-hunting skills.
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