Stock futures rose this morning on hope that the US will avoid
attacking Syria, and China posted strong industrial data.
Secretary of State John Kerry's off-the-cuff comment that Syria
could avert a military strike if it hands over its chemical weapons
to the international community turned into a full-fleged
alternative. Russia eagerly promoted the idea that would shield its
ally from Western strikes. Yesterday, President Obama tentatively
got behind it before he faces a reluctant Senate vote on the war,
but he expressed skepticism that Syria would follow through.
The president didn't find the support that he expected from allies
at the G20 meeting last week, and a recent WSJ/NBC
shows that only 33% of Americans approve of the war. Obama will
make a prime-time address to the nation on the issue tonight.
As the president backs away from war, safe-haven assets are
falling. Spot gold fell 1.12% to $1,371.10/ounce and WTI oil
futures fell 0.92% to $108.51/barrel.
US stocks had their best day in two months yesterday. Before the
opening bell, stock index futures extended yesterday's gains.
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.57% to 15,121 while futures
contracts on the
(INDEXSP:.INX) rose 0.62% to 1,679.50.
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures gained 0.66% to 3,185.75.
Later this morning, the Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor
Turnover Survey for July will be released. Economists expect this
report to count 3.9275 million, only slightly changed from June.
Asian and European stocks posted strong gains today. China reported
that industrial output sped up in August. Production rose 10.4%
year-over-year from 9.7% in July. Retail sales rose 13.4% from a
Italy's recession was deeper than initially thought. Italian GDP
for the second quarter was revised down to a 0.3% contraction from
The big company news today will come from
), which will unveil new products today. It has been widely
reported that a second, cheaper iPhone is in the works. A cheaper
handset could help Apple push into emerging markets. An update to
the flagship iPhone is also possible. The indefatigable Apple rumor
mill says that it might include a fingerprint scanner. Apple is
also likely to release iOS7, a refresh of its mobile operating
that top investors in
) want to replace CEO Steve Ballmer with a turnaround expert such
) CEO Alan Mulally, who was rumored to be looking for another
high-profile post. Mulally is known for saving Ford from the brink
when he took the CEO job in 2006. Another potential candidate would
Computer Sciences Corp's
) Mike Lawrie.