Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is leading the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) up as the stock market shrugs off rising oil prices from the situation in Iraq. As of 1:30 p.m. EDT the Dow was up 20 points to 16,754. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) was up 3 points to 1,933.

Today's big economic news was all outside the United States. Oil prices continued to rise as the situation in Iraq intensifies. The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham, abbreviated as ISIS or ISIL, took two more towns just north of Baghdad. As ISIL expands, more countries risk being drawn into the conflict. Iran today said it was sending Revolutionary Guard units to help protect Iraq's capital of Baghdad as well as the Shi'a holy cities of Karbala and Najaf. For the U.S.' part, Secretary of State John Kerry as well as President Barack Obama both said the U.S. will work to help the Iraqi government but that help will not include sending in troops.

The situation in Iraq is important to watch as the country is the eighth largest oil producer in the world. While oil production is not currently threatened, that could quickly change. As such, oil continued to rise today. The below chart is only updated to last week, Brent crude is up 0.24% to $113.29 while WTI crude is up 0.1% to $106.66.

Brent Crude Oil Spot Price Chart

Brent Crude Oil Spot Price data by YCharts

As oil prices rise, consumers and businesses need to spend more on oil and gas, crowding out investment in more productive uses. Oil prices aren't the only thing rising, there were positive economic reports out of China earlier today.





Chinese industrial production




Chinese retail sales




For the month of May, Chinese industrial production rose 8.8% year over year, better than April's 8.7% and in line with analyst expectations. The better news was that Chinese retail sales rose 12.5% year over year, up from April's 11.9%, and better than analyst expectations of 12.1% growth. The Chinese government is trying to transition to a consumer-focused economy, away from its current export- and infrastructure-driven model. While rising economic activity is good in the short term, China is still dealing with a massive credit bubble that will weigh on the economy going forward.

Today's Dow leader
Today's Dow leader is Intel, up 6.9% to $29.88 after hitting a 10-year high of $30.06 in early trading. Yesterday after the market close Intel raised its second-quarter and full-year guidance as a result of better-than-expected sales for PCs by businesses. Intel had previously expected second-quarter revenue of $12.5 billion to $13.5 billion. The company raised its guidance for the quarter to $13.4 billion to $14.0 billion and also announced that it expects its gross margins to be higher than previously expected. Furthermore, the company believes it will have some revenue growth this year as opposed to its previous outlook of no growth.

The rise in sales is being mainly attributed to Microsoft's decision to end support for Windows XP, necessitating business to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8. Intel's update shows that the PC market is not dead among businesses, but that consumers still are updating their PCs less often as mobile phones and tablets take up more of their computing time.

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Dan Dzombak has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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