GLOBAL MARKETS-Wall St stocks fall on earnings; dollar hits 7-week high

Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:45pm EST

* Wall Street edges lower as Intel, GE weigh after results

* European shares extend new-year rally

* Dollar extends rally vs euro

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Wall Street stocks declined on Friday as quarterly earnings of Intel and General Electric disappointed, contributing to a decline in a measure of global equity markets, while the dollar hit a seven-week high against the euro.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq fell as declines in shares of Intel and General Electric more than offset a rally in shares of American Express after it reported strong quarterly earnings.

In Europe, shares rose on brisk volumes, extending their new-year rally as expectations of a pick-up in global growth prompted investors to buy mining stocks.

The MSCI all-country world index, a measure of global equity markets, fell 0.2 percent.

The dollar hit a seven-week high against the euro after a round of mixed U.S. data on balance supported the view that the world's largest economy was steadily gaining steam, keeping the Federal Reserve on track to continue to reduce its stimulus.

On Wall Street, Intel and General Electric were among the biggest decliners. Shares of Intel lost 3.4 percent to $25.64, weighing on all three major U.S. indexes after the chipmaker's fourth-quarter earnings missed expectations by a penny and the company gave a lukewarm forecast for revenue for the current quarter.

General Electric lost 3 percent to $26.39. The conglomerate posted a slightly better-than-expected rise in quarterly revenue, propelled by its oil pumps and jet engines businesses, but its full-year profit margins were disappointing.

The Dow outperformed the broader S&P 500 index as American Express shares climbed 4.8 percent to $91.98.

As earnings continue to trickle in, analysts expect the market to get more clarity on the strength of Corporate America and look for leadership to define the next move.

"The market was teased in a good way by some of the first earnings, tempered later with disappointing numbers, and it's trying to make a sense of what the quarter is going to be," said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management in New York.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 27.14 points, or 0.17 percent, at 16,444.15. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 8.05 points, or 0.44 percent, at 1,837.84. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 24.16 points, or 0.57 percent, at 4,194.51.

In currency markets, the dollar extended gains in afternoon trading in New York.

The euro fell 0.7 percent against the dollar to $1.3524 . The dollar index, a gauge of the dollar's value versus six major currencies, rose 0.4 percent to 81.268.

Overall, the U.S. economy is making steady, if uneven, progress and that should keep intact expectations for sustained Fed tapering this year," said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington.

"U.S. Treasury yields haven't budged much, so as long as they hold near their elevated levels, that should continue to underpin the dollar."

Data showed U.S. industrial output rose at its fastest clip in 3-1/2 years in the fourth quarter. Separately, ground-breaking for new homes last month dropped 9.8 percent, the largest percentage decline since April, though housing starts were coming off a multi-year high in November.

A strong British retail sales figure shook the pound out of a week-long torpor while the New Zealand dollar was the biggest decliner among major currencies, halting a run to nine-month highs.

The British pound was one of the biggest movers of the day, rising 0.3 percent to $1.6411 following UK retail sales data that showed a 2.6 percent increase in December.

In Treasuries, the benchmark 10-year note was up 6/32, with the yield at 2.8213 percent.

Stocks rose in Europe as gains in consumer cyclicals helped the broad FTSEurofirst 300 index gain 0.5 percent to close at 1,345.02 points, a level not seen in 5-1/2 years.

The region's quarterly earnings season does not pick up until next week. STOXX Europe 600 companies are seen missing consensus by 0.4 percent on revenues and by 0.9 percent on earnings, according to StarMine SmartEstimates, which focuses on the predictions by the most accurate analysts.

In commodities, Brent oil rose more than $1, driven by demand for heating fuels and rising gasoline prices, but gains were offset by expectations for increased supply from Libya and Iran.

Brent reversed earlier losses to trade near $107 a barrel by mid-day. Brent oil for March delivery, which became the front-month contract following the expiry of the February contract on Thursday, rose $1.04 to $106.79 a barrel.

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