MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures climb after Alcoa earnings

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By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures climbed Tuesday as results from Alcoa helped boost sentiment toward second-quarter earnings.

S&P 500 futures rose 7 points to 1,083.60 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 15.25 points to 1,835.50. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 52 points.

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U.S. stocks barely budged Monday, with the S&P 500 adding 0.1% on caution ahead of earnings season.

Alcoa /quotes/comstock/13*!aa/quotes/nls/aa (AA 10.87, -0.07, -0.64%) kicked off earnings season late Monday by reporting a $136 million profit on stronger-than-anticipated 22% revenue growth, with the metals producer hiking its global aluminum consumption forecast.

There were other positive reports from companies. CSX /quotes/comstock/13*!csx/quotes/nls/csx (CSX 52.46, +0.70, +1.35%) , the railroad operator, reported a 36% profit rise, and luxury automaker BMW hiked its earnings outlook. India's Infosys Technologies /quotes/comstock/15*!infy/quotes/nls/infy (INFY 63.02, +0.45, +0.72%) raised its outlook though it reported a worse-than-forecast 2% profit fall.

Chip giant Intel /quotes/comstock/15*!intc/quotes/nls/intc (INTC 20.57, +0.33, +1.63%) and fast-food operator Yum Brands /quotes/comstock/13*!yum/quotes/nls/yum (YUM 40.87, +0.60, +1.49%) report results after Tuesday's close.

"It will be interesting to see if this earnings season has more of an impact on the market than the last one," said Gary Jenkins, chief fixed income strategist at Evolution Securities. "When first quarter earnings were being released the market was focused on the concerns regarding sovereign debt rather than the fundamentals of corporates."

The euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd (CUR_EURUSD 1.2573, -0.0014, -0.1112%) however edged back as Moody's cut its rating on Portugal by two notches and as a German investor sentiment gauge signalled pessimism about the future.

The U.S. calendar is on the light side, with trade balance data and a new lending survey from the Fed highlighting the day's releases.

Overseas markets were mixed. European stocks had a strong session, with the Stoxx Europe 600 rising 1.6%, helped both by earnings releases as well as a report that planned global bank capital rules may be loosened.

Asian stocks weren't as hot, with slight losses for Japanese and Australian stocks and a 1.7% slide for the Shanghai Composite on China's continued plan to rein in the property market.

Oil futures traded above $75 a barrel.

Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's London bureau chief.

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