Stocks Seeing Modest Strength Following Upbeat Alcoa Earnings - U.S. Commentary

By RTT News, 
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(RTTNews.com) - While buying interest has remained somewhat subdued, stocks are seeing modest strength in mid-day trading on Wednesday. The gains on the day come on the heels of the notable pullback seen over the two previous sessions.

The major averages have moved roughly sideways in recent trading, hovering above the unchanged line. The Dow is up 28.69 points or 0.2 percent at 16,935.31, the Nasdaq is up 13.59 points or 0.3 percent at 4,405.05 and the S&P 500 is up 3.96 points or 0.2 percent at 1,967.67.

The strength on Wall Street partly reflects a positive reaction to quarterly results from Alcoa ( AA ), with the aluminum giant jumping by 4.3 percent.

After the close of trading on Tuesday, Alcoa reported second quarter net income compared to a year-ago loss. The company also reported adjusted earnings and revenues that exceeded estimates and reaffirmed its forecast for global aluminum demand growth.

While Alcoa was dropped from the list of Dow components last year, the release of quarterly results from the company is still seen as the unofficial start of earnings season.

The reporting season will really start to pick up next week, with Citigroup ( C ), Goldman Sachs (GS), JP Morgan (JPM), Intel (INTC), Bank of America (BAC), IBM (IBM), Morgan Stanley (MS), and General Electric (GE) among the slew of big-name companies due to report their quarterly results.

However, traders seem somewhat reluctant to get back into the markets ahead of the release of the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting.

The minutes of the Fed's June meeting, which are scheduled to be released at 2 pm ET, could shed some additional light on the outlook for monetary policy.

Nonetheless, some analysts have suggested taking the Fed minutes with a grain of salt, as the meeting took place before last week's much better than expected jobs data.

Among individual stocks, shares of America Movil ( AMX ) have moved notably higher amid news that the Mexican telecom giant is prepared to divest assets to avoid the impact of new regulations.

American Airlines ( AAL ) is also turning in a strong performance after raising its forecast for second quarter growth in passenger revenue per available seat mile, a key revenue measure.

On the other hand, shares of Container Store Group ( TCS ) have come under pressure after the storage and organization products retailer reported a wider than expected first quarter loss and provided disappointing guidance.

Sector News

A majority of the major sectors have moved to the upside on the day, although most are seeing only modest strength in mid-day trading.

Gold stocks continue to see substantial strength, however, with the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index surging up by 1.6 percent. With the gain, the index has reached its best intraday level in well over three months.

The strength among gold stocks comes amid an increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for August delivery climbing $8.50 to $1,325 an ounce.

Electronic storage, telecom, and railroad stocks are also seeing some strength, although buying interest has remained subdued.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled by 1.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index dropped by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both rose by 0.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are seeing modest weakness after moving notably higher over the two previous sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 1.6 basis points at 2.581 percent.

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This article appears in: News Headlines

Referenced Stocks: AA , AAL , AMX , C , TCS

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