New York Report: Hopes for Syria extend S&P’s winning streak

US STOCKS rose yesterday, with the S&P 500 index advancing for its longest stretch since early July, as an alternative proposal emerged that could avert a possible Western military strike on Syria.

Encouraging economic data from China reinforced the view the world’s second-largest economy was stabilising and gave investors a further reason to buy.

All 10 S&P industry sectors ended higher, though energy was pressured by a drop in crude oil prices. Tech shares also came off their highs as Apple fell sharply, weighing on the S&P and Nasdaq.

Analysts said new developments about Syria reduced risk for financial markets as Syria accepted a Russian proposal to give up chemical weapons and win a reprieve from US military strikes.

“Several things continue to calm investors and make equities look attractive,” said Paul Zemsky at ING Investment Management. “The new proposal creates a potential scenario where the US doesn’t have to go in militarily. We were worried not just about Syria, but also the impact that this would spread to other nations in the Middle East.”

After the S&P 500 posted its worst monthly performance since May 2012 in August, the broad index has rallied 3.1 per cent over the past six straight sessions of gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 127.94 points, or 0.85 per cent, at 15,191.06. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 12.28 points, or 0.73 per cent, at 1,683.99.

The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 22.84 points, or 0.62 per cent, at 3,729.02.