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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.
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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 (NYSE: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 While analysts warn the embattled company no longer represents a true bellwether, it still helped get corporate reporting season off to a strong start.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 (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: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 (NYSE:NYX) will become the administrator of controversial London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), previously run by the British Bankers Association, according to multiple news report.
Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) said its chief executive William Lynch will resign amid a management shakeup. Kroger (NYSE:KR) said it will buy Harris Teeter Supermarkets (NASDAQ:HTSI) in a $2.44 billion deal. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) downgraded IBM (NYSE: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.
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.