US shares surge as Syrian fears ebb

Shares on Wall Street have achieved strong gains for the second day in a row, as worries over a possible military strike on Syria ease and after further upbeat data from China.

Investors have been enticed back into the market by two main reasons this week: signs that China’s economy may be picking up pace again and the possibility that military action by the US against Syria might be avoided.

Russia has put forward a non-military way out of the Syrian predicament, proposing that Syria hand its chemical weapons over to the international community for destruction. Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halki has indicated Syria’s support for this proposal.

Details for such a solution are still being hammered out and the UN Security Council is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting later today.

Following on from yesterday’s better-than-expected Chinese export data, global stock markets have been given a further boost by news that Chinese industrial output increased 10.4% in August and retail sales rose 13.4%, both coming in higher than forecast.

By early afternoon in New York, the Dow was trading up 0.65% or 98 points at 15,161, while the wider-encompassing S&P 500 rose 0.65% to 1682.3.

Goldman Sachs, Nike and Visa have all benefitted today from the news that they will be added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average later this month. They will replace Alcoa, Bank of America and Hewlett-Packard. Goldman’s and Visa both rose around 3%, while Nike added 1.5%.

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