* Auto stocks up, sales on pace for best month since Nov
* Ciena shares jump on forecast, chipmakers up
* Indexes up: Dow 0.7 pct, S&P 0.8 pct, Nasdaq 1 pct
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Sept 4 U.S. stocks rose for a second
day on Wednesday as a possible military action in Syria was seen
as limited and strong auto sales lifted investor confidence in
the U.S. economy.
The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a
resolution authorizing a limited U.S. military intervention in
Syria, setting the stage for a debate in the full Senate next
week on the use of military force.
The Obama administration is seeking support from Congress to
punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government over
alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians. Markets have been
on tenterhooks over possible spillover in the Middle East.
Shares of Ford and General Motors posted their
best day of the year as U.S. auto sales rose at their fastest
pace in nearly six years in August. Ford jumped
3.5 percent to $16.91 and GM added 5 percent to $35.85.
Car sales were "another piece of solid macro data and may be
justifying today's move," said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE
floor division at O'Neil Securities in New York.
Even though Syria is still being discussed, Polcari said he
expected Congress will approve a limited engagement to "not
embarrass the President or the country."
Polcari added the S&P 500 will continue to trade in a
1,625-1,660 range until the next big news breaks, which could be
a Syria intervention or Friday's payrolls report.
Lowered concern over Syria was also seen in the oil market,
with U.S. crude down 1.2 percent and Brent down
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 96.91 points or
0.65 percent, to 14,930.87, the S&P 500 gained 13.31
points or 0.81 percent, to 1,653.08 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 36.43 points or 1.01 percent, to 3,649.042.
The S&P 500 is up 1.2 percent for the week so far after a
loss of 1.8 percent last week, which was tied largely to worries
With global supplies of dynamic random access memory chips
already tight, shares of Micron Technology and SanDisk
rose after reports of a fire at Hynix, the world's No.
2 DRAM chips maker. Hynix said the fire did not cripple critical
equipment, but Micron closed up 5.3 percent at $14.75 and
SanDisk added 3.3 percent to $57.14.
E*Trade Financial was the largest percentage
advancer on the S&P 500 after it said U.S. bank regulators have
approved its request to use capital from its bank subsidiary for
broader corporate purposes, a sign of strength as it recovers
from bad mortgage loans. Shares jumped 8 percent to $15.71, the
highest in more than two years.
Network equipment maker Ciena Corp soared 13.8
percent to $23.54 after it forecast strong revenue for the
current quarter as it gains from a recovery in spending by
telecom carriers, its biggest customers.
Just over 6 billion shares changed hands on the New York
Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and NYSE MKT, slightly below the
daily average so far this year of about 6.3 billion shares.
On the NYSE, roughly five issues rose for every two that
fell, and on Nasdaq fewer than two rose for every decliner.