GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S. budget deadlock and data slow stocks, euro

Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:11am EST

* U.S. stocks struggle at the open on soft economic data

* Euro trades little changed, U.S. Treasury yields fall

NEW YORK Nov 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks struggled at the open with major indexes mixed while Treasuries yields fell on Friday as concern about the stalemate in crucial U.S. budget talks and soft U.S. economic data only added to worries about slowing economic growth.

The euro fell to session lows against the dollar after data on consumer spending and income fell short of expectations though it later recovered to trade little changed.

Trading has been choppy lately as investors buy on sporadic dips in the market and react to mixed headlines out of Washington regarding progress in talks on averting the "fiscal cliff," a shorthand for spending cuts and tax increases that will come into effect in the new year.

U.S. President Barack Obama, reiterating his reelection campaign theme of protecting the middle class, heads to Pennsylvania on Friday suggesting that Republicans could spoil Christmas by driving the country over the "fiscal cliff."

"Washington brinkmanship and a delay in reaching an agreement on the 'fiscal cliff' are likely to rattle markets. These risks and uncertainties are likely to keep markets volatile," said John Praveen, chief investment strategist at Prudential International Investments Advisers LLC.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.92 points, or 0.01 percent, at 13,022.74. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 1.61 points, or 0.11 percent, at 1,414.34. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 4.31 points, or 0.14 percent, at 3,007.79.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares rose 0.2 percent, adding to Thursday's 1.1 percent gains which took it to a four-month closing high.

The euro was little changed against the dollar at $1.2987 .

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was up 4/32, with the yield at 1.6062 percent.