LONDON - U.S. stock-index futures rose, indicating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will advance for a fifth straight day, as exports from China, the world’s second- largest economy, topped forecasts.
Delta Air Lines Inc. rallied 4.6 percent in pre-market trading as S&P Dow Jones Indices said the world’s second-largest carrier will replace BMC Software Inc. in the S&P 500. Crown Castle International Corp. advanced 4.7 percent after saying it will move to become a Real Estate Investment Trust.
Futures on the benchmark S&P 500 expiring this month gained 0.2 percent to 1,657.1 at 7:15 a.m. in New York as President Barack Obama tries to persuade Congress to support air strikes against Syria. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 29 points, or 0.2 percent, to 14,938.
“Economic data out of Asia seems to be supporting markets, but no doubt investors will remain vigilant in the short term about any developments in the Syria situation and the next move from the Federal Reserve,” James Butterfill, who helps oversee $44 billion as head of global equity strategy at Coutts & Co. in London, said by phone.
Chinese exports climbed 7.2 percent in August from a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs said in Beijing yesterday. That compared with the 5.5 percent median estimate of 46 economists surveyed by Bloomberg and July’s 5.1 percent gain. Imports increased a less-than-estimated 7 percent.
The S&P 500 advanced 1.4 percent last week as the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index for August unexpectedly rose to the highest level in more than two years.
The equities gauge has rallied 16 percent this year as the Federal Reserve continued to provide stimulus to the economy. Fed policy makers will probably decide to buy fewer assets at their next meeting on Sept. 17-18, according to 65 percent of economists surveyed by Bloomberg on Aug. 9-13.
Obama will try this week to persuade a skeptical Congress and a reluctant public to support air strikes against Syria. He failed to win backing from foreign leaders at last week’s Group of 20 summit for military action in response to a chemical weapons attack that his administration says killed more than 1,400 people.
The Senate is expected to vote on a resolution by the end of this week and the House of Representatives will probably debate the proposal next week.
Secretary of State John Kerry said in London today that the Syrian conflict requires a political solution.
“A resolution will not be found on the battlefield but at the negotiating table,” Kerry told reporters. “But we have to get to that table.”
Delta advanced 4.6 percent to $20.80 in early New York trading. The airline will join the S&P 500 after the close of trading tomorrow, according to a statement from S&P Dow Jones Indices on Sept. 6, making Atlanta-based Delta the second carrier in the index after Southwest Airlines Co. BMC is leaving the gauge after being bought by Bain Capital LLC.
Crown Castle, a provider of infrastructure for wireless communications, climbed 4.7 percent to $73.84 in pre-market trading. The company said it will take steps to qualify as a REIT for tax purposes.
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