US STOCKS-Wall Street climbs on Chinese data, deals
* China exports handily top expectations
* Syria welcomes Russian chemical arms arsenal proposal
* Koch Industries to buy Molex for about $7.2 billion
* Indexes up: Dow 0.7 pct, S&P 0.6 pct, Nasdaq 0.8 pct
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Sept 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Monday to extend last week's advance as upbeat Chinese data and merger activity boosted sentiment, and as concerns eased about an imminent Western strike against Syria.
Basic materials shares led gains on the S&P 500 after China's August exports handily beat market expectations while consumer inflation held steady.
"Even if you are skeptical of Chinese data, this fits a pattern of global demand turning the corner, inching higher," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.
Deal news gave a further boost to market confidence. Koch Industries will buy electronic connectors maker Molex for about $7.2 billion. Separately, Ares Management LLC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board reached a deal to buy privately owned U.S. luxury retailer Neiman Marcus for $6 billion. Continued...