* Syria fears ease on possible diplomatic solution
* China data points to stabilizing economy
* Goldman Sachs, Visa, Nike to be added to Dow Industrials
* McDonald's reports August sales, shares rise
* Indexes up: Dow 0.5 pct, S&P 0.47 pct, Nasdaq 0.43 pct
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Sept 10 U.S. stocks advanced at the
open on Tuesday, putting the S&P 500 on pace for a sixth day of
gains, following further upbeat economic data from China and as
an alternative solution emerged to a possible 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.
Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halki said his country
supported a Russian proposal for Damascus to give up chemical
weapons to avoid a possible U.S. military strike.
"Certainly there was the potential for escalation, which was
the market's primary concern, and that seemed to be the issue
out there," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of
Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York.
Economic data in China showed stronger-than-expected
industrial output and retail sales showed their fastest growth
this year, reinforcing signs that the world's second-largest
economy was stabilizing after slowing for more than two years.
"Another good China-data day and that has certainly been
helping," Ghriskey said.
However, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama would
press ahead with his plan to ask Congress to approve the use of
military force in Syria, despite Syria's recent acceptance of
the Russian proposal.
Oil prices pulled back, with U.S. crude off 2.3
percent. Crude prices rose 2.7 percent last week on worries a
strike against Syria could spark a wider conflict and heightened
supply concerns. The S&P energy index was off 0.6
percent, the only one of the 10 major S&P sectors in the red.
After suffering its worst monthly performance since May 2012
in August, the S&P 500 has rallied for a 2.9 percent gain
to start the month, its longest winning streak since early July.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 75.87 points or
0.5 percent, to 15,138.99, the S&P 500 gained 7.86 points
or 0.47 percent, to 1,679.57 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 16.016 points or 0.43 percent, to 3,722.199.
S&P Dow Jones Indices said Goldman Sachs Group Inc
will replace Bank of American Corp, Visa Inc will
replace Hewlett-Packard Co and Nike Inc will
replace Alcoa Inc in the Dow Jones Industrial Average
after the close of trading Sept. 20.
Goldman shares rose 3 percent to $164.35, Visa gained 2.5
percent to $183 and Nike advanced 2 percent to $66.71, while
Alcoa lost 0.1 percent to $8.07, Bank of America added 0.4
percent to $14.54 and Hewlett-Packard shed 1.5 percent to
McDonald's Corp gained 0.7 percent to $97.08 after
the fast-food restaurant chain reported a better-than-expected
1.9 percent increase in global sales at established restaurants
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 were down 0.6 percent at $503.11.