Stocks edge higher, reversing two days of losses; Alcoa rises on better earnings

Markets Associated Press

Stocks are closing higher after corporate earnings got off to an encouraging start.

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Stocks held onto their gains through the afternoon Wednesday after the Federal Reserve released minutes from its latest policy meeting in June.

Alcoa rose 6 percent after reporting earnings that were better than investors were expecting.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 79 points, or 0.5 percent, to 16,985.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose nine points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,972. The Nasdaq composite rose 27 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,419.

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 profits.

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Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.55 percent.