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Stocks creep up after 2 days of losses

By KEN SWEET

AP Markets Writer 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 37 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,943 as of 10:49 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose six points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,970 and the Nasdaq composite rose 19 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,410.

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 62 cents, or 4 percent, to $15.47 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.

AAL ABOARD: American Airlines, stock ticker "AAL," rose $1.13, or 3 percent to $41.39. The world's largest airline raised its sales forecast for the second quarter, typically the busiest time of year. The news helped lift other airline stocks, including Delta, which rose 2 percent. Airline stocks had taken a beating earlier this week.

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.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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