* UniCredit unveils plans to raise 13 billion euros
* Dow nears 20,000 just weeks after breaching 19,000
* Fed expected to raise rates but markets focus on forecasts
(Adds quote, European stocks' close, updates prices)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Dec 13 World stock indexes rose while
the dollar held steady on Tuesday as investors turned their
focus to the U.S. Federal Reserve's expected interest rate hike
this week and potential changes in its inflation and growth
Gains in technology and energy companies helped lift the S&P
500 and Dow Jones industrial average to fresh record highs, with
the Dow less than 1 percent away from hitting the 20,000 mark
for the first time. It breached 19,000 only last month.
The move extended the U.S. stock market's post U.S.-election
rally, driven largely by hopes of better U.S. economic growth
under President-elect Donald Trump.
Yet uncertainty over whether the Fed would signal a slow or
fast pace of rate increases following its meeting kept the
dollar steady against a basket of currencies.
The Fed on Wednesday is widely expected to hike interest
rates for the first time since last December and only the second
since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, but investors will be
examining the central bank's statement and economic forecasts
for any signs of how policymakers think Trump's election affects
the outlook for growth and inflation.
The question is, "how much can their forecast change. In
reality, the forecast can't change that much because the data
hasn't changed that much," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market
strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut. "The stock
market is pricing in a big uptick in growth next year.
"Tomorrow what will be key is how the market digests that
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 116.16 points,
or 0.59 percent, to 19,912.59, the S&P 500 gained 15.31
points, or 0.678346 percent, to 2,272.27 and the Nasdaq
Composite added 61.01 points, or 1.13 percent, to
"I think what we're seeing is the rally broaden out a little
bit beyond the Russell 2000 and the financial sector," O'Rourke
said, adding that technology has not gained as much as other
sectors since the Nov. 8 election.
In Europe, stocks were helped by gains in banks after
Italy's largest lender unveiled a 13 billion-euro share issue.
UniCredit launched Italy's biggest share issue to
clean up its balance sheet and boost profitability, the latest
move to strengthen the Italian banking sector, which has been
clouding the outlook for European stocks.
MSCI's all-country world stock index was up
0.8 percent, the pan-European STOXX 600 share index
ended up 1.1 percent.
The U.S. dollar index was last up 0.04 percent at
In the U.S. bond market, the U.S. 10-year note prices
were down 1/32, while the yield rose to 2.481
percent from 2.479 percent late on Monday.
Earlier on Monday, the yield hit 2.528 percent, its highest
level since Sept. 29, 2014, according to Reuters data.
Oil prices edged higher in choppy trading, a day after
surging to an 18-month high on Monday after the world's top
crude producers agreed to the first joint output cut since 2001.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) gained 20 cents to
$55.03 a barrel, while Brent crude was up 14 cents at
For Reuters' new Live Markets blog on European and UK stock
markets, see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=http://emea1.apps.cp.extranet.thomsonreuters.biz/cms/?pageId=livemarkets
(Additional reporting by Sam Forgione in New York; Nigel
Stephenson, John Geddie, Patrick Graham and Atul Prakash in
London; Editing by Andrew Roche and Nick Zieminski)