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Wall Street closes higher ahead of Fed meeting; stocks rise worldwide

By Stephanie Kelly
Wall Street closes higher ahead of Fed meeting; stocks rise worldwide

By Stephanie Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday as investors prepared for an expected Federal Reserve rate hike later in the week, while stocks rose around the world on continued solid global economic growth indicators.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 opened flat after news of an explosion in New York's busy Port Authority commuter hub which New York Mayor Bill de Blasio described as an "attempted terrorist attack."

U.S. stocks edged higher after worries receded over the explosion.

"The market makes an assessment almost immediately as soon as new information comes in, and this is what you're seeing," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in New Jersey. "You're seeing the equity market move higher and the Treasury yields climb just a bit."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 56.87 points, or 0.23 percent, to 24,386.03, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 8.49 points, or 0.32 percent, to 2,659.99 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 35.00 points, or 0.51 percent, to 6,875.08.

Gains in the energy <.SPNY> and technology <.SPLRCT> indexes helped boost Wall Street. CenturyLink <CTL.N> rose 8.18 percent after the telecom provider signed a 5-year contract with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.38 percent.

"There's somewhat of an enthusiasm that global growth is more synchronized than it's been in a long time, and it's synchronized in the right direction," said Scott Wren, a senior global equity strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in St. Louis, Missouri.

MSCI's emerging market stock index <.MSCIEF> rose 0.83 percent. Its broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> closed 0.81 percent higher, while Japan's Nikkei <.N225> rose 0.56 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> lost 0.01 percent.

British shares rose on a weaker pound, rising oil prices and growing confidence in the financial sector. The blue-chip FTSE 100 <.FTSE> closed 0.8 percent higher.

Interest in the surging bitcoin and opening of futures trading continued to fuel bets on cryptocurrency-related stocks, many of which have risen exponentially in value in the past three months.

Bitcoin futures jumped more than 20 percent in the U.S. debut on Sunday. The spot price quoted by Bitstamp showed one Bitcoin up 15.34 percent at $16,944.04. <BTC=BTSP>


TREASURY PRICES NEAR FLAT

U.S. Treasury debt prices were near flat after rallying earlier in the session on safe-haven buying after the New York blast.

Benchmark 10-year notes <US10YT=RR> last fell 2/32 in price to yield 2.3885 percent, from 2.383 percent late on Friday.

The 30-year bond <US30YT=RR> was last nearly flat in price to yield 2.7746 percent, from 2.775 percent late on Friday.

The U.S. dollar rebounded ahead of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting that ends on Wednesday. The U.S. central bank is widely expected to raise benchmark interest rates.

Tepid wage growth in Friday's jobs report for November added to concerns that inflation will remain benign and complicate the Fed's ability to execute further hikes.

The dollar index <.DXY> rose 0.03 percent, with the euro <EUR=> up 0.07 percent to $1.1772.

Oil prices rose, reversing earlier losses, after a North Sea pipeline shut for repairs and investors focused on commodities following the New York blast.

U.S. crude <CLcv1> rose 1.12 percent to $58.00 per barrel and Brent <LCOcv1> was last at $64.69, up 2.03 percent.


(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York; Additional reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan, Fanny Potkin, Julien Ponthus and Helen Reid in London, Karen Brettell and Sinead Carew in New York and Sruthi Shankar and Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Bases and James Dalgleish)