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Stocks Surge on Signs of Asian Growth

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks surged Monday after China reported an increase in exports and Japan revised its second-quarter gross domestic product suggesting the world's third-largest economy is growing faster than forecast, and Apple (AAPL - Get Report) prepared to introduce its latest iPhone.

The S&P 500 jumped 1% to close at 1,671.71, it's largest percentage gain since Aug. 1. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.94% to 15,063.12. The Nasdaq surged to finish the regular trading day 1.26% higher at 3,706.18.

A rebound of Japan's economy from years of slow growth and recession along with signs that China is making progress in its own transition, is giving U.S. investors some assurance the global economy may strengthening. Japanese stocks surged overnight after annualized GDP increased 3.8% from the prior estimate of 2.6%. The Nikkei average added 2.48% to 14,205.

Chinese exports jumped 7.2 percent in August from a year earlier, the government's General Administration of Customs said on Sunday. Economists were forecasting exports to have gained 5.5%, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Investors continued to monitor developments in Syria as Congress is expected to decide this week whether to approve military action against the country after Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Syria had used chemical weapons in a suburb of Damascus last month. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with PBS' Charlie Rose that he had nothing to do with the attack and denied any knowledge that there was one.

"The market is stabilizing because ... there's a good chance that it's not going to happen," said Jeffrey Sica, president of Sica Wealth Management. "Included in this whole initiative is the likelihood that, from comments [President] Obama made last week, any tapering done will be minor and there's not going to be anything overwhelming to the market."

Apple shares jumped 1.6% to $506.17, a day ahead of the company's big event during which analysts expect the Cupertino, Calif.-based company to unveil a new iPhone. Reports have said the phone would be an upgrade of its iPhone 5, to be dubbed the iPhone 5S.

U.S. stocks this week are likely to move on speculation about the Federal Reserve's plans about the future of its economic stimulus package, the central focus of the bank's next policy-making meeting later this month. Analysts have said the central bank's monetary stimulus has helped boost stocks from a financial crisis bottom in March 2009 to record highs achieved earlier this summer.
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