Easing Syria Tension Propels Stocks Higher


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The markets roared higher on Tuesday as the odds of the U.S. launching a strike in Syria diminished and traders eyed more upbeat global economic data.

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Today's Markets

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 128 points, or 0.85%, to 15191, the S&P 500 gained 12.3 points, or 0.73%, to 1684 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 22.8 points, or 0.62%, to 3729.

Last week, the drums of war beat loudly as a U.S.-led strike in Syria seemed all but certain. The tides have changed, however, as a diplomatic outcome appears to be gaining steam. Syria said it will accept a Russian offer to put its chemical weapons under international control for eventual dismantlement, according to multiple news reports.

The move could be the first step to halting a potential military battle that could cost billions and roil one of the most volatile regions in the world. President Barack Obama will hold a news conference in the evening on Syria.

Commodity markets had the sharpest reaction to the news. Oil futures slid $1.77, or 1.6%, to $107.74 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 1% to $2.775 a gallon. Gold dropped $18.60, or 1.3%, to $1,368 a troy ounce.

Traders reacted positively to data from China showing industrial production jumped 10.% on a year-to-year basis, exceeding estimates of 9.7%. The data come on the heels of a report showing the world's No. 2 economy is exporting more than analysts expected. The data have helped calm worries that China would be in for a "hard landing," where its growth cools down sharply.

There are no major U.S. economic reports on tap.

In corporate news, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Visa (NYSE:V) and Nike (NYSE:NKE) will be added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, replacing Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and Alcoa (NYSE:AA), S&P Dow Jones Indices said. This is the first “three for three” change to the benchmark stock-market index since April 2004.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to debut a new version of its high-end iPhone and roll out a low-cost iPhone at a closely-watched press event.

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