US STOCKS-Wall St rises on telecom strength, spending


 * Telecom shares rise on analyst upgrades
 * Consumer spending up more than expected in February
 * Japan plant radiation, Libya violence add to volatility
 * Indexes up: Dow 0.17 pct, S&P 0.14, Nasdaq up 0.08 pct
 * For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
 (Updates to midday, changes byline)
 By Chuck Mikolajczak
 NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks advanced on
Monday, boosted by strength in telecommunications and an eighth
straight monthly rise in consumer spending, but jitters about
overseas concerns limited gains.
 Japan's nuclear disaster and civil unrest in the Middle
East and North Africa have increased market volatility in
recent weeks, making investors cautious as they watch headlines
closely for trading cues.
 "It puts a cap on things for right now, at least until we
start to see some earnings come out early in April. That might
finally give us a little more upside, assuming that we have
good earnings," said Janna Sampson, co-chief investment officer
at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.
 "At some point people have got to price in Japan's problems
and the problems in the Middle East that we know about."
 U.S. consumer spending rose slightly more than forecast in
February, while inflation accelerated at its fastest pace since
June 2009. For details, see [ID:nCAT005399]
 The S&P telecom sector (.GSPL: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 1.5 percent after
Robert W. Baird upgraded a number of companies, including Dow
components AT&T Inc (T.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Verizon Communications Inc
(VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research), saying after AT&T's deal to buy T-Mobile USA was
completed, both AT&T and Verizon should benefit from one less
competitor. [ID:nL3E7ES19O]
 AT&T rose 2 percent to $29.44 while Verizon was up 1.4
percent to $37.80.
 Pending U.S. home sales unexpectedly rose last month,
gaining 2.1 percent and breaking a recent trend of negative
data on the sector. Stocks showed little impact from the data.
[ID:nN28185602]
 The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: Quote, Profile, Research) gained 20.58
points, or 0.17 percent, to 12,241.17. The Standard & Poor's
500 Index (.SPX: Quote, Profile, Research) added 1.86 points, or 0.14 percent, to
1,315.66. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 2.09 points,
or 0.08 percent, to 2,745.15.
 Eastman Kodak Co (EK.N: Quote, Profile, Research), up 11.5 percent to $3.79, was the
second-most active stock on the New York Stock Exchange after a
U.S. trade panel in the United States last week agreed to
review a case that could bring the struggling photography
company hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties.
 The case stems from a patent claim against Apple Inc
(AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and Research in Motion Ltd (RIM.TO: Quote, Profile, Research)(RIMM.O: Quote, Profile, Research) . Apple
shares edged up 0.3 percent to $352.50 and U.S.-listed shares
of Research in Motion shed 1.2 percent to $56.20.
[ID:nN25292900]
 Highly radioactive water leaked from a crippled nuclear
complex in Japan, renewing worries over the country's reactors
after an earthquake and tsunami. [ID:nL3E7ES0WS]
 Violence spread in Libya as rebels pushed west over the
weekend to retake a series of towns from the forces of Muammar
Gaddafi. In Syria, President Bashar al-Assad deployed the army
in the country's main port of Latakia for the first time after
nearly two weeks of protests spread across the country.
[ID:nLDE72Q0C3]
 (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Kenneth Barry)







US STOCKS-Wall St rises on telecom strength, spending