* U.S. stocks fall on soft economic data
* Euro higher on European outlook; Spanish, Greek yields
* U.S. Treasury yields fall
NEW YORK, Nov 30 Major U.S. stock indexes and
U.S. Treasury yields fell on Friday as concern about the
stalemate in crucial U.S. budget talks and soft U.S. economic
data added to worries about slowing economic growth in the
world's largest economy.
The euro fell to session lows against the dollar after data
on U.S. consumer spending and income fell short of expectations
, though it later recovered as investors focused
on a better outlook for Europe after a deal between Greece and
international lenders earlier in the week.
U.S. President Barack Obama, reiterating his re-election
campaign theme of protecting the middle class, heads to
Pennsylvania on Friday to argue that Republicans could spoil
Christmas by driving the country over the "fiscal cliff" of tax
hikes and spending cuts set to kick in early next year.
"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 down 22.42
points, or 0.17 percent, at 12,999.40. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 3.25 points, or 0.23 percent, at 1,412.70.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 9.58 points, or 0.32
percent, at 3,002.45.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was up
1/32, the yield at 1.616 percent. A private report on business
activity in the Chicago area in November matched economists'
forecasts, portending moderate growth for the U.S. economy.
"These numbers were soft," said Ryan Sweet, senior economist
with Moody's Analytics, shortly after the consumer spending data
was released. "It's a sign that consumers are cautious. They are
tightening their purse strings with the jobs market taking a
step back. The 'fiscal cliff' will likely hit spending later
even though it's not in the forefront of consumers' mind."
WORLD, EUROPEAN STOCKS SLIP
World and European stocks edged lower. The MSCI world equity
index was down 0.1 percent at 332.02, though it
was still near its highest level for November, having added
almost 1 percent on Thursday.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares
also slipped 0.1 percent to 1,120.89, following Thursday's 1.1
percent gain, which took it to a four-month closing high.
European shares are on course for their best month since
August and a sixth straight monthly gain as sentiment over the
outlook for Europe has improved since a deal was reached on aid
to Greece earlier this week.
Those signs have also helped the euro, which was up 0.3
percent against the dollar to $1.3012 after climbing to a
five-week high. The single currency touched a seven-month high
against the yen.
Strong demand at an Italian bond auction this week, which
cut Rome's borrowing costs to a two-year low, and falls in
Spanish bond yields have encouraged investors to return to
Spanish and Italian 10-year bond yields were stable on
Friday at 5.334 percent and 4.48 percent
respectively, well below their peak in July, when
Spain's debt yielded more than 6 percent.
Earlier, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares
outside Japan rose 0.6 percent to its highest
level since March 1, after a monthly gain of 2.1 percent.
The U.S. fiscal crisis remains the center of focus in oil
markets due to its potential impact on demand from the world's
biggest consumer. Crude was up ahead of the weekend.
Brent crude slipped 0.1 percent to $110.60 a barrel,
while U.S. crude rose 0.3 percent to $88.31 a barrel.
"No significant progress seems to have been made in the U.S.
budgetary dispute, which has led to profit-taking, especially
since oil is trading at the upper end of its trading corridor,"
said Commerzbank oil analyst Carsten Fritsch.
Gold fell to $1,714.14 an ounce, buffeted by
uncertainty over the U.S. budget crisis.