* Better-than-expected retail sales in December boost Wall
* World equities flat on concerns about future earnings
* Euro rises for 4th day vs. dollar; greenback gains against
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, Jan 14 U.S. stocks rose and Treasury
prices fell on Tuesday after a gauge of U.S. consumer spending
rose more than expected in December, while a measure of global
equity markets was flat on unease over the corporate earnings
The Commerce Department said retail sales - excluding
automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services -
increased 0.7 percent last month after a 0.2 percent rise in
Economists polled by Reuters had expected core retail sales
to rise 0.3 percent in December. The increase suggested consumer
spending accelerated in the fourth quarter, the latest sign of
strong U.S. economic momentum at the end of 2013.
"It's conducive to the growth story that is becoming
increasing popular," said Brad McMillan, chief investment
officer for Commonwealth Financial in Waltham, Massachusetts.
However, a stronger U.S. economy could lead the Federal
Reserve to quicken the pace of dialing back its economic
stimulus, a move equity markets have generally disliked.
"From an economic perspective, the real economy continues to
gain traction, but from a market perspective the stronger the
economy looks, the more we need to look and see whether in fact
the Fed might be pulling back sooner than people think,"
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading
regional shares was unchanged, while the broader MSCI
all-country world index, which tracks shares in
45 countries, was up 0.06 percent after earlier slipping by a
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average rose
49.70 points, or 0.31 percent, at 16,307.64. The Standard &
Poor's 500 Index was up 11.29 points, or 0.62 percent, at
1,830.49. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 45.28
points, or 1.10 percent, at 4,158.59.
As the Fed withdraws its stimulus, a major driver of the
29.6 percent gain in the S&P 500 last year, investors are
expected to become more selective about stock valuations. The
forward price-to-earnings ratio for the index is the highest in
nearly seven years, a motive behind Monday's sell-off.
U.S. Treasury prices fell. Benchmark 10-year notes
were last down 8/32 in price to yield 2.8524
percent, up from 2.825 percent late Monday.
The dollar gained against the yen, but traded near
break-even against the euro and the dollar index.
The dollar was up 0.62 percent at 103.62 yen, and the dollar
index edged up 0.01 percent at 80.520. The euro rose 0.1 percent
Brent crude oil edged down toward $106 a barrel as Libyan
supply picked up and a restart of Iranian oil shipments appeared
Recent weak U.S. economic data has also dampened the outlook
for fuel demand in the world's largest oil consumer.
The February Brent crude contract, which expires on
Thursday, was down 49 cents at $106.26 a barrel. U.S. crude
was at $92.08, up 28 cents a barrel.