US STOCKS-Wall St to open higher on China data; Syria curbs gains

Mon Sep 9, 2013 9:06am EDT
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* China exports top expectations

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* Futures up: Dow 3.5 pts, S&P 26 pts, Nasdaq 12.75 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Sept 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set for a modestly higher open on Monday in the wake of upbeat economic data from China, though concerns remained about the possibility of a Western strike against Syria.

China, the world's second-biggest economy, reported its exports had grown by 7.2 percent in August, beating market expectations for a 6 percent increase, while consumer inflation held steady in August.

"The news out of China continues to get better, inflation basically in line with expectations - in fact, a little bit better - and trade data over the weekend was better," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.

"The major focus is going to be the debate on a strike against Syria in Congress, so the market will stay within a very contained trading range for most of the day as the geopolitical headlines continue to keep investors rather cautious."   Continued...