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US stocks rise as Summers exits Fed Chairman race

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US stocks rise as Summers exits Fed Chairman race

US stocks opened the week on a high note as market participants shifted their attention from the economic calendar to the Federal Reserve.

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers withdrew from consideration for Fed chairman just one day before the Federal Open Market Committee was scheduled to meet. Central bank officials will coalesce Tuesday to discuss the current status of economic recovery and decide whether to make changes to the Fed’s record stimulus program. Lawrence Summers has been one of only three names mentioned by American President Barrack Obama as the next potential replacement to Ben Bernanke. Current Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen and former vice chairman Donald Kohn are the other two.

The next Fed chairman will face the task of nurturing the American growth engine in 2014 and beyond, as well as decide on the pace and timing of stimulus cuts. The Fed has pumped more than $3.5 trillion into the US economy, and will pour many billions more before calling it quits.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 hit a five-week high, gaining more than half a percent to 1,697.60. The benchmark gauge rose more than 2 percent last week, and has risen in nine of its last ten sessions. The Monday close puts it around 12 points shy of its record high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 2.5 percent last week, and added another 118 points Monday to close at 15,494.80. The index’s biggest winner was The Boeing Company. The multinational aerospace company soared 3.9 percent to $115.67 after announcing its 787 Dreamliners will take off this week without delay. Consumer staples, financials and telecommunications also registered positive gains, led by ProctEr & Gamble (NYSE:PG) , JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Verizon Communications (NYSE:VM) , respectively.

The NASDAQ declined more than 0.1 percent to 3,717.85 after Apple declined for its fourth consecutive session. The maker of the iPhone and iPad decline 3.18 percent to $450.12 a share.

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