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Stock gains contained by Syria concerns

The New York Stock Exchange stands on Wall

The New York Stock Exchange stands on Wall Street in Manhattan. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 170 points on fears of a possible U.S. attack on Syria. (Aug. 27, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

The stock market rose modestly Tuesday as renewed worries about a U.S.-led attack on Syria dampened an early rally.

Stocks surged in the opening minutes of trading as traders felt that a U.S. attack on Syria wasn't imminent after President Barack Obama announced over the weekend that he would seek congressional approval for a strike.

But the early rally faded after the top Republican in Congress said he would support President Obama's call for the United States to take action. Speaking in the late morning, House Speaker John Boehner said the use in Syria of chemical weapons must be responded to.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 23.65 points at 14,833.96. The index had climbed as much as 123 points in early trading.

The Dow was also held back by Microsoft and Verizon, which both slumped after announcing deals.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained .42 percent to 1,639.77. The Nasdaq composite climbed .63 percent to 3,612.61.

The stock market also got an early boost from a report showing that U.S. manufacturing expanded last month at the fastest pace since June 2011. -- AP

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