* Prices dip, retail sales data points to stronger economy * Two-day rally pauses after short-covering * Fed to buy $1 bln-$1.5 bln bonds due 2036-2043 By Karen Brettell NEW YORK, Jan 14 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries prices remained lower on Tuesday, after a gauge of U.S. consumer spending rose more than expected in December, suggesting the economy gathered steam at the end of last year and was poised for stronger growth in 2014. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday retail sales, excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, increased 0.7 percent last month after a 0.2 percent rise in November. The data follows a report Friday that showed a weaker-than-expected jobs gain for December, which sent yields lower as some investors reevaluated bullish expectations for economic growth this year. Treasuries held at higher yields on Tuesday after the retail sales data, pausing a two-day rally as traders also covered short positions set before the employment report. "The data's better than expected, even though you had downward revisions in the last month," said Charles Comiskey, head of Treasuries trading at Bank of Nova Scotia in New York. Prices retreated as the rally following the jobs number resulted in "those shorts being taken out," he said. Benchmark 10-year notes were last down 4/32 in price to yield 2.850 percent, up from 2.825 percent late Monday. They have fallen from a high of 2.967 percent on Friday before the jobs data was released. Thirty-year bonds fell 7/32 in price to yield 3.793 percent, up from 3.766 percent. The Fed will buy between $1 billion and $1.50 billion in bonds due between 2036 and 2043 on Tuesday as part of its ongoing purchase program. Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser and Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher are both due to speak later on Tuesday.