GLOBAL MARKETS-Wall St ends mostly lower on earnings; dollar hits 7-week high

Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:37pm EST

* Wall St weighed by Intel, GE results

* Dollar extends rally vs euro

* European shares extend new-year rally

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Wall Street stocks fell 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 Nasdaq fell, led by losses in Intel and General Electric after disappointing results. But both indexes managed to end the week slightly higher.

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 0.13 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 2.6 percent to $25.85, 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 2.3 percent to $26.58. 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 3.6 percent to $90.97.

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 rose 41.55 points, or 0.25 percent, to end unofficially at 16,458.56. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index slipped 7.19 points, or 0.39 percent, to finish unofficially at 1,838.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 21.11 points, or 0.50 percent, to close unofficially at 4,197.58.

For the week, the Dow rose 0.1 percent, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.2 percent and the Nasdaq gained 0.5 percent.

In currency markets, the dollar index, a gauge of the dollar's value versus six major currencies, rose 0.4 percent to 81.232.

In afternoon trading, the dollar traded down 0.03 percent to 104.31 yen.

The euro fell to a seven-week low of $1.3515 in the afternoon on the dollar's strong rally. It was last at $1.3530, down 0.7 percent.

"verall, 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.

In Treasuries, the benchmark 10-year note was up 7/32 in price with the yield at 2.8176 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, 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 crude oil rose more than $1 per barrel, driven by demand for heating fuel and rising gasoline prices, but gains were offset by expectations for increased supply from Libya and Iran.

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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