FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

The markets sharply pared gains on Tuesday after several key lawmakers said they would support President Obama's call for action in Syria.

Today's Markets

As of 3:00 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.4 points, or 0.01%, to 14812, the S&P 500 gained 3.8 points, or 0.23%, to 1637 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 14.7 points, or 0.41%, to 3605.

The Dow and S&P slumped in August amid concerns about when, and how, the Federal Reserve will end its vast bond-buying program. However, Wall Street awoke from a long weekend in a more upbeat mood, boosted by a round of mergers and acquisitions. 

Microsoft (MSFT) said it would buy Finnish Nokia's handset business for $7.2 billion in a move that analysts said could shift the tide of the mobile phone wars. The big buy came just a day after Verizon Communications (VZ) revealed plans to buy the 45% of Verizon Wireless it doesn't already own from Vodafone (VOD). The deal is one of the largest such moves in history. 

Meanwhile, Jarden (JAH) said it will buy Yankee Candle for $1.75 billion from a private-equity fund managed by Madison Dearborn Partners.

However, the gains on the day faded after House Speaker John Boehner and several other important lawmakers backed President Barack Obama's push to strike Syria. The president said over the weekend he supports limited military action in Syria, but would ask for permission from Congress before acting. 

On the economic front, the Institute for Supply Management’s gauge of manufacturing activity rose to 55.7 in August from 55.4 in July, exceeding economists’ expectations of a decline to 54. Readings above 50 point to expansion, while those below indicate contraction for the factory sector. 

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures climbed 92 cents, or 0.85%, to $108.57 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.67% to $2.871 a gallon. In metals, gold rallied $16.80, or 1.2%, to $1,413 a troy ounce. 

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 dipped 0.23% to 2767, the English FTSE 100 fell 0.1% to 6499 and the German DAX slipped 0.33% to 8217. 

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 surged 3% to 13978 and the Chinese Hang Seng rallied 0.99% to 22395.

 

 

Follow Adam Samson on Twitter @adamsamson.