US stocks rise, shrugging off German political turmoil

NEW YORK (AFP) - US stocks rose early Tuesday (Nov 21), joining European markets in shrugging off unease over German Chancellor Angela Merkel's inability to establish a ruling coalition.

The turmoil in Germany has pressured the euro, but bourses in Paris and Frankfurt were solidly higher. The US economic calendar is relatively quiet ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday aside from a handful of earnings, which were mixed.

Traders believe of Germany that "a worst-case scenario will not unfold, either because a political solution will be reached or because the ECB will do all that is necessary with its monetary policy to fill any confidence gaps," said analyst Patrick O'Hare.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 23,569.31, up 0.6 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.5 per cent to 2,596.08, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.8 per cent to 6,842.82.

Time Warner rose 1.2 per cent and AT&T edged up 0.1 per cent a day after the Justice Department sued to block AT&T's proposed US$85 billion takeover due to antitrust concerns.

The companies maintain the deal should go through because the proposed transaction is a "vertical" merger and AT&T and Time Warner do not directly compete.

Lowe's, a home-improvement retailer, dipped 0.2 per cent after reporting that third-quarter revenues rose 6.5 per cent to US$15.7 billion, boosted in part by hurricane-related spending. Some analysts said the performance, while good, was less impressive than that of rival Home Depot.