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Stock futures higher as concerns over Syria ease

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange August 28, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock futures rose on Sunday, a day after U.S. President Barack Obama opted to seek congressional authorization for military action against Syria, a move that was likely to delay any strike for at least nine days.

Equities have been pressured recently by the prospect of a Western strike against Syria after chemical weapons were used to kill civilians. The geopolitical uncertainty contributed to steep losses in August, which marked the worst month for the S&P 500 (^GSPC) since May 2012.

"There's still uncertainty about whether any action will take place, but a delay will let investors calm down and assess things," said Michael Yoshikami, chief executive at Destination Wealth Management in Walnut Creek, California.

S&P 500 futures rose 10.3 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 54 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 20 points.

The U.S. stock market will be closed on Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Leslie Adler)