Futures Up After Alcoa Earnings Beat

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U.S. stock-index futures edged higher on Tuesday after blue-chip aluminum maker Alcoa kicked off earnings season with a narrow beat. 

Today's Markets

As of 8:10 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 36 points to 15194, S&P 500 futures gained 5.3 points to 1641 and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 8.5 points to 2967.

Alcoa (AA) revealed quarterly results after the closing bell that beat analysts' expectations on the top and bottom lines. While analysts warn the embattled company no longer represents a true bellwether, it still helped get corporate reporting season off to a strong start. Larger firms J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) are both slated to unveil their earnings on Friday.

With little in the way of economic data out on the day, traders had a smattering of corporate news to parse through. NYSE Euronext (NYX) will become the administrator of controversial London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), previously run by the British Bankers Association, according to multiple news report.

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Barnes & Noble (BKS) said its chief executive William Lynch will resign amid a management shakeup. Kroger (KR) said it will buy Harris Teeter Supermarkets (HTSI) in a $2.44 billion deal. Goldman Sachs (GS) downgraded IBM (IBM) to "neutral" from "buy" and cut its price target on Big Blue by $20 to $200 a share. 

Gold prices rallied for the second day in a row. The precious metal jumped $13.30, or 1.1%, to $1,248 a troy ounce. Oil dipped 7 cents, or 0.07%, to $103.07 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline edged up 0.11% to $2.887 a gallon. 

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.55% to 2665, the English FTSE 100 gained 0.85% to 6505 and the German DAX rallied 1% to 8045. 

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 soared 2.6% to 14472 and the Chinese Hang Seng ticked up 0.49% to 20683.

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