September 3, 2013

Stocks gain as Syria attack momentum slows further

By STEVE ROTHWELL, AP Markets Writer

NEW YORK — The stock market rose sharply Tuesday after the threat of an immediate U.S. attack on Syria became less likely.

President Barack Obama is seeking to convince lawmakers about the need to respond to last month’s alleged sarin gas attack outside Damascus, and has requested congressional authorization for limited military strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

The U.S. last week appeared ready to strike Syria for the attacks. That rattled the stock market and pushed up the price of oil to its highest level in more than two years. Government bonds also rallied as investors sought out the safest securities.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 102 points, or 0.70 percent, to 14,912. The Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 17, or 1 percent, to 1,650. The Nasdaq composite gained 43, or 1.3 percent, to 3,633.

Microsoft fell $1.54, or 5 percent, to $31.84 after the company said it would pay $7.2 billion to acquire Nokia’s line-up of smartphones and a portfolio of patents and services. The company is struggling to capture a slice a slice of the lucrative mobile computing market that is dominated by Apple and Google.

In other deal news, Verizon fell $2.03, or 4 percent, to $45.37 after the company agreed to pay $130 billion for the 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless owned by British cellphone carrier Vodafone.

In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.84 percent from 2.79 percent Friday.

In commodities trading, the price of oil rose 61 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $108.25. The price of gold was up $4.20, or 0.3 percent, $1,400.30.