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Overnight Markets: Wall Street gains as Obama weighs Syria alternatives
by Himanshu Singh on Sep 12, 2013 at 04:23
US stocks closed higher on Wednesday, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index scaling a one-month high, as diminishing concern over a military strike against Syria offset Apple Inc.’s biggest decline since April.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 135 points, or 0.89%, at 15,326. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up five points, or 0.30%, at 1,689. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down four points, or 0.11%, at 3,725.
Shares gained after US President Barack Obama, faced with resistance in polls and Congress, said a Russian offer to pressure Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control raised the chances of putting off a strike.
Investors remained undeterred even as Apple Inc (AAPL.O), the largest US publicly traded company by market capitalisation, slumped 5.4% a day after it unveiled new iPhone models.
Traders awaited the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting on 17-18 September when a decision is expected to begin to wind down $85 billion a month in bond purchases.
Meanwhile, economic data showed wholesale inventories for July edged up 0.1%, less than an expected rise of 0.3%, but better than June's 0.2% decline.
Housing stocks were among the top gainers yesterday, with D.R. Horton Inc (DHI.N) jumping 3.2%.
In deal news, IBM (IBM.N) rose 2.2% to lead gains on the Dow industrials a day after hardware distributor Synnex Corp (SNX.N) said it will buy IBM's customer-care outsourcing business for $505 million. Synnex jumped 20%.
Harvest Natural Resources Inc (HNR.N) surged 26.5% after the oil and gas producer said it was in exclusive talks to sell itself to Argentina's Pluspetrol in a deal valued at about $373 million including debt.
Marriott International Inc. increased 3.2% after a Chinese land developer said he wants to buy hotel-management companies in the US.
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