* U.S. durable goods and consumer confidence data strong
* European bond yields lower on the day
* Euro falls against the dollar
(Updates to close of U.S. markets)
By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK, Aug 26 Worldwide stock indexes rose
modestly on Tuesday and European bond yields fell on
expectations of more stimulus from the European Central Bank,
while strong U.S. data on durable goods and consumer confidence
underpinned U.S shares.
Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 closed above the 2,000 mark
for the first time, while the Dow hit an intraday record.
Speculation grew that the European Central Bank is preparing
a program of large-scale asset purchases to weaken the euro and
try to jump-start growth in the struggling euro zone. Those
expectations have bolstered European bond and stock markets
since Friday, when ECB President Mario Draghi hinted at a policy
shift in a speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
"Draghi's readiness to do more is providing the necessary
boost for equity indexes," said Ashraf Laidi, chief global
strategist at City Index. "Buying on the dips does remain the
path of least resistance in the absence of any destabilizing
MSCI's all-country world index was last up
0.18 percent at 431.44.
In Europe, the broad FTSEurofirst 300 index closed
up 0.75 percent at 1,376.83. The 10-year German bund
yield was last at 0.943 percent, up from a session
low of 0.932 percent but down from 0.955 percent late on Monday.
On Wall Street, investors took heart from the data on U.S.
durable goods orders and consumer confidence. The Conference
Board, an industry group, said confidence rose in August to its
highest level since October 2007, topping expectations.
The Commerce Department reported that U.S. durable goods
orders jumped 22.6 percent in July, the biggest gain on record,
though the number was skewed by strong international demand for
aircraft. Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.8 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 29.83
points, or 0.17 percent, at 17,106.70. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was up 2.10 points, or 0.11 percent, at 2,000.02.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 13.29 points, or 0.29
percent, at 4,570.64.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was
down 2/32 in price to yield 2.40 percent.
"It's tough for Treasuries to sell off here given what's
going on in Europe," said Gennadiy Goldberg, interest rate
strategist at TD Securities in New York.
The euro was last down 0.15 percent, at $1.3171,
Despite slight gains earlier in the session, the currency
remained at its lowest in nearly a year against the greenback.
Brent crude fell 15 cents to settle at $102.50 a
barrel. U.S. crude rose 51 cents to settle at $93.86 per
(Additional reporting by Nigel Stephenson and Francesco Canepa
in London and Karen Brettell in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler
and Leslie Adler)