Stocks rise as Syria conflict looks less likely

Stocks rose on Tuesday as investors bet that a conflict with Syria might be avoided.

Syria’s foreign minister said the country accepted a proposal to put its chemical weapons under international control for dismantling. It was the latest development suggesting that the crisis between the U.S. and Syria might be solved peacefully. That sentiment was also a factor behind the stock market’s gain on Monday, too.

About 30 minutes after trading began, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 95 points, or 0.6 percent, to 15,158. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose nine points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,681 and the Nasdaq composite rose 18 points, or 0.5 percent, to 3,724.

The price of crude oil, which closed above $110 a barrel on Friday, lost $2.50, or 2.2 percent, to $107.09 a barrel. Syria isn’t a big oil producer but the threat of war in the region drove oil prices to a two-year high last week.

The Dow got a shakeup on Tuesday, with its manager saying it will drop Bank of America, Hewlett-Packard, and Alcoa. They’re being replaced by Goldman Sachs, Nike, and Visa. The change becomes effective at the start of trading on Sept. 23. The Dow is made up of 30 stocks.

S&P Dow Jones Indices says the change won’t disrupt the level of the industrial average. It said it made the change to diversify the sector and industry group representation of the index.

Hewlett-Packard fell 20 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $22.16. Alcoa was flat and Bank of America rose slightly.

Visa rose $3.52, or 2 percent, to $182.15; Nike rose $1.35, also 2 percent, to $66.76 and Goldman Sachs rose $4.83, or 3 percent, to $164.27.

Syria news helped stocks elsewhere, too. Germany’s DAX rose 2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 0.9 percent. The CAC 40 in France rose 1.6 percent.

Traders sold safe-play assets as the threat of a strike on Syria faded. Gold fell $26, or 2 percent, to $1,360 an ounce, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.96 percent from 2.91 percent.

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