U.S. stocks rose, sending the Nasdaq Composite Index above 5,000 for the first time in 15 years, while Treasuries fell as gains in consumer purchases signaled lower gasoline prices are boosting the biggest part of the economy. European equities slipped.
Consumer purchases adjusted for inflation rose 0.3 percent in January, a sign the plunge in gasoline prices is helping boost the biggest part of the economy. The Federal Reserve is assessing inflation and employment levels to determine the timing for lifting borrowing costs. Bonds from Italy to Spain stayed higher after a report showed the slump in consumer prices in the euro area eased. The ECB’s Governing Council meets on Thursday as policy makers work on details of a 1.1 trillion-euro ($1.2 trillion) quantitative-easing program.