US STOCKS-Futures climb on rosy China data, easing Syria fears

Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:15am EDT

* Syria fears ease on possible diplomatic solution

* China data points to stabilizing economy

* Futures up: Dow 76 pts, S&P 8.9 pts, Nasdaq 19 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Sept 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday, putting the S&P 500 on track for a sixth day of gains, following another batch of rosy economic data out of China and as expectations eased about a Western military strike against Syria.

* Fears of action against Syria eased after U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday he saw a possible breakthrough in the crisis with Syria after Russia proposed that its ally Damascus hands over its chemical weapons for destruction, which could avert planned U.S. military strikes.

* Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Tuesday the European nation will put forward a U.N. Security Council draft resolution for Syria to give up its chemical weapons, quickly turning the Russian idea into a full-blown diplomatic proposal.

* Economic data in China showed stronger-than-expected industrial output and retail sales showed their fastest growth this year, reinforcing signs that China's economy was stabilizing after slowing for more than two years.

* After suffering its worst monthly performance since May 2012 in August, the S&P 500 has rallied for the past five sessions for a 2.4 percent gain that marks its longest winning streak in two months.

* S&P 500 futures rose 8.9 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 76 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 19 points.

* At least three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft Corp want a turnaround expert to succeed Steve Ballmer as chief executive, and have urged the company's board to consider Ford Motor Co CEO Alan Mulally and Computer Sciences Corp CEO Mike Lawrie for the job, several sources familiar with the matter said. Microsoft shares rose 1.1 percent to $31.99 in premarket trading.

* Apple Inc is expected to introduce a cheaper version of the iPhone on Tuesday, bringing one of the industry's costliest smartphones within reach of the masses in poorer emerging markets. Apple shares gained 0.5 percent to $508.50 before the opening bell.

* Layoffs at Bank of America Corp's BAC.N mortgage business will amount to about 2,100 positions, a source told Reuters on Monday, in response to weak refinancing activity.

* European shares advanced and Asian stocks rose to three-month highs as expectations ebbed of U.S.-led military action against Syria, and following robust macroeconomic data out of China.

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California state worker Albert Jagow (L) goes over his retirement options with Calpers Retirement Program Specialist JeanAnn Kirkpatrick at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009. Calpers, the largest U.S. public pension fund, manages retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million people, with assets comparable in value to the entire GDP of Israel. The Calpers investment portfolio had a historic drop in value, going from a peak of $250 billion in the fall of 2007 to $167 billion in March 2009, a loss of about a third during that period. It is now around $200 billion. REUTERS/Max Whittaker   (UNITED STATES) - RTXPWOZ

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