US stocks are heading higher today as Japan and China released upbeat indicators, but fears of intervention in Syria remain high.
Secretary of State John Kerry said that Bashar Assad could avert a US-led strike if he hands over his chemical weapons, but expressed that this is an extremely unlikely situation. In two days, the Senate will vote on a resolution authorizing a limited attack on the country.
With no major economic releases scheduled, stock futures are trading higher. Dow
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.24% at 14,945. Futures contracts on the S&P 500
(INDEXSP:.INX) rose 0.27% to 1,658.00 and Nasdaq
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures gained 0.48% to 3,144.50.
Japanese stocks surged today after a crop of great news for the country. On Saturday, the International Olympic Committee awarded the 2020 Summer Olympics to Tokyo. The Tokyo bid committee said that hosting the games will bring 2.96 trillion yen into the economy and create 150,000 jobs. The government will spend an estimated 153.8 billion yen on new construction by 2020.
On the same day, the Cabinet Office reported that the Japanese economy grew much faster than initially expected in the April-June quarter. GDP was revised up to an annualized 3.8% from a preliminary reading of 2.6%.
(INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) jumped 2.5% to a five-year high of 14,025 on Monday. The yen also fell to 99.48 to the dollar.
China also released some positive figures. China's trade surplus rose by $10.82 billion to $28.61 billion in August as exports rose 7.2%, up from 5.1% in July. Imports slowed, however. Inflation also rose 2.6% year-over-year in August. The decline in producer prices also slowed to 1.6%.
European indices are mostly lower, despite a Sentix report today that investor confidence on the continent was positive for the first time since 2011. Madrid was one of the other contenders for the 2020 games. Today, Spain's IBEX
(INDEXDB:537M) index fell 0.74%.
Delta Air Lines
(NYSE:DAL) rallied 4.8% in the pre-market as it will join the S&P 500 after Tuesday's market close. It will replace BMC Software
(NASDAQ:BMC), which will be taken private by Bain Capital.
(NYSE:VZ) will offer $20 billion in corporate bonds to cover the $130 billion cost of buying Vodafone's
(NYSE:VOD) stake in Verizon Wireless. This offering handily beats Apple's
(NASDAQ:AAPL) record $17 billion offering.
Today, the World Trade Organization cut its forecast for world economic growth to 2.5% from 3.3% in 2013. Its prediction for 2014 was also cut to 4.5% from 5%. The details of its action will be released in a report on Sept. 19.
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