The Dow finally paired gains yesterday after a five-day winning streak injecting a little volatility after a global growth downgrade from the World Bank and a big flare up in Iraq. Today US markets look set to open mildly higher as investors look to Iraq to decide if this is an opportunity for buying on the dip or whether this might be the beginning of further declines. Futures suggest the S&P500 will open 2 points higher at 1,945 with the Dow Jones expected to open 19 points higher at 16,862. The pronouncements from the World Bank were hardly anything unknown to investors but seeing it crystallised in the report gave them an excuse to books some profits. There will likely be no long-lasting effect from the report. What could be of greater concern, as investors weigh up whether markets are ready to rebound is a further exogenous shock from Iraq. If the situation deteriorates and we see start seeing the discussion of troop movements form the US and UN then oil prices could spike which could derail global growth further. If Iraq doesn’t hit the headlines again, a positive surprise in US retail sales could be all that’s needed for investors to jump back on the wagon again and ride the Dow and S&P 500 back up to new highs. Expectations are for a 0.4% rise ex-auto and a 0.7% rise overall after auto orders jumped and same-store sales have so far held up for retailers in May. AT&T and DirecTV could be in play again today following yesterday’s filing with the Federal Communications Commission over the proposed merger between the two companies.