US STOCKS-China data helps Wall St gain for fifth straight day

Mon Sep 9, 2013 10:17am EDT
 
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* China exports top expectations

* Jacobs Engineering to buy Sinclair Knight

* Koch Industries to buy Molex for about $7.2 billion

* Indexes up: Dow 0.67 pct, S&P 0.62 pct, Nasdaq 0.71 pct

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Sept 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Monday, helping the S&P to advance for a fifth straight day following upbeat economic data from China, though concerns about the possibility of a Western strike against Syria tempered investor enthusiasm.

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 benchmark index has gained 1.9 percent over the past five days, but analysts said numerous events, from Syria to a possible trimming of stimulus by the Federal Reserve and the debt ceiling debate, could easily create volatility.

"There are so many things out there that could upset the apple cart right now," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.   Continued...