US STOCKS rose yesterday but were far off session highs after top Republicans voiced support for US President Barack Obama’s call for military strikes against Syria.
The S&P 500 rose more than one per cent in early trading after Obama sought congressional authorisation before taking military action, a move seen likely to shelve any strike for at least several days. The S&P fell 1.8 per cent last week mainly on uncertainty over what appeared to be an imminent strike.
The market found support yesterday from stronger-than-expected data on US manufacturing and construction spending that hinted the world's biggest economy was gaining traction.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 23.65 points or 0.16 per cent, to 14,833.96, the S&P 500 gained 6.8 points or 0.42 per cent, to 1,639.77 and the Nasdaq Composite added 22.743 points or 0.63 per cent, to 3,612.612.
Brent crude oil futures rose 1.2 per cent on supply concerns on the increased support for a strike on Syria, and on improving economic data in the United States and China. US crude futures rose 0.8 per cent.
Nokia agreed to sell its handset business to Microsoft for $7.2bn, sending its US shares up 31.3 per cent to $5.12 on record volume. Microsoft fell 4.6 per cent to $31.88 and was the biggest drag on all major indexes.
Verizon Communications agreed on Monday to pay $130bn to buy Vodafone Group out of its US wireless business, ending an often tense 14-year marriage. Verizon lost 2.9 per cent to $46.01.