NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks inched higher in early trading Wednesday, reversing a two-day decline, as the quarterly earnings season got underway with some positive news from the giant aluminum company Alcoa.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks inched higher in early trading Wednesday, reversing a two-day decline, as the quarterly earnings season got underway with some positive news from the giant aluminum company Alcoa.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 20 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,925 in the first 30 minutes of trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose three points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,967 and the Nasdaq composite rose seven points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,398.
ALCOA CAN'T WAIT: Alcoa kicked off the second-quarter earnings season late Tuesday, posting a profit of $138 million, better than Wall Street expected. The aluminum giant also reported stronger revenue than analysts estimated. Alcoa rose 40 cents, or 3 percent, to $15.25 on the news.
EXPECTATIONS: As companies begin turning in second-quarter results this week, investors will be looking for signs that the strengthening U.S. economy has translated into higher sales and profits. Analysts expect earnings increased 6.6 percent in the three months through June compared with the previous year, according to S&P Capital IQ, a research firm.
FED WATCH: At 2:00 p.m. Eastern time, the Federal Reserve will release minutes from its most recent meeting in June. After that meeting wrapped up, the Fed made clear that it sees no need to raise short-term interest rates from record lows anytime soon.
BONDS AND COMMODITIES: As investors were buying stock, they sold bonds. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 2.58 percent from 2.56 percent Tuesday. Oil fell 56 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $102.83 as one of Libya's oil fields came back online Wednesday.