CORRECTED-US STOCKS-Wall St gains on China data, Fed speakers on agenda

Mon Dec 9, 2013 10:40am EST

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(Removes "four" to correct reference to number of Fed speakers in first paragraph)

* Markets will sift Fed speeches for clues on taper timing

* Slower China inflation eases worries of tighter policy

* McDonald's Nov. sales miss estimates on U.S. weakness

* Indexes: Dow up 0.2 pct; S&P up 0.3 pct; Nasdaq 0.4 pct

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Wall Street rose modestly on Monday after Chinese inflation data eased worries about policy tightening there, while investors were cautious before speeches on the economy by top Federal Reserve officials.

Investors will look for clues on whether the strong November jobs report will be enough for the Fed to slow its stimulus. The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee will hold its final meeting of 2013 on Dec. 17-18.

Richmond Fed Bank President Jeffrey Lacker will speak at an economic outlook conference in Charlotte, North Carolina at 12:30 p.m. (1730 GMT).

St. Louis Fed Bank President James Bullard will also speak on the economy in St. Louis in the afternoon, and Dallas Fed Bank President Richard Fisher will appear in Chicago in the evening.

Equities received support from data that showed China's annual consumer inflation unexpectedly slowed in November, easing market fears of any imminent policy tightening as authorities meet this week to outline their policy and reform priorities for 2014.

The S&P 500 scored its best day in nearly a month on Friday following a robust jobs report that gave traders confidence the economic recovery was gaining strength. All 10 S&P sector indexes ended solidly higher in the broad rally.

The S&P 500 is up nearly 27 percent for the year and is on track for its biggest annual gain since 1998.

"The technical condition of the stock market is mixed. Breadth indicators have exhibited little improvement in recent weeks. We view this as part of a consolidation phase," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co in a note to clients.

"Market breadth will take on significantly more importance in January, which typically sets the tone for the rest of the year. There has also been deterioration in foreign markets, most notably Europe. It will be important that global markets gain traction early in the New Year."

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 30.34 points or 0.19 percent, to 16,050.54, the S&P 500 gained 5.83 points or 0.32 percent, to 1,810.92 and the Nasdaq Composite added 17.388 points or 0.43 percent, to 4,079.909.

In company news, Sysco Corp jumped more than 20 percent to $41.35 after the food distributor said it would buy rival US Foods for about $3.5 billion and assume about $4.7 billion in debt to create a company with about $65 billion in annual revenue.

McDonald's Corp reported weaker-than-expected global sales at established restaurants for November, hurt by a sharp drop in comparable-store sales in the United States. The stock was down 1 percent at $95.86.

(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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