Wall Street flat despite Iraq fears

US stocks close flat as solid factory output number offset worries about continued unrest in Iraq.

US stocks have closed largely flat as a solid factory output number offset worries about continued unrest in Iraq.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lifted 5.27 points, or 0.03%, to 16,781.01.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 1.62 points, or 0.08%, to 1,937.78, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gained 10.45 points, or 0.24%, to 4,321.11.

Continued sectarian violence in Iraq again pushed oil prices higher, providing a concern that the rising price of the energy source could weigh on growth.

In economic news, US factory output jumped 0.6% in May, slightly ahead of forecasts for 0.5% and a sharp improvement on last month's fall.

The positive development was muted somewhat by news the International Monetary Fund had cut its 2014 growth forecast for the US from 2.8% to 2%. The Fund said the lacklustre first quarter, largely due to a harsh winter, was behind the move, with the IMF confident growth in the last three quarters will be solid.

Investors are eagerly awaiting inflation data in the US tomorrow ahead of the latest policy guidance from the Federal Reserve later in the week.