Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year.(Photo: Stephen Chernin, AFP/Getty)
LONDON -- U.S. stock futures were tracking higher on Wednesday after
aluminum maker Alcoa got fourth-quarter earnings season off to a
positive start by hitting Wall Street's targets.
Ahead of the
market open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index inched 0.1% higher
to 13,273, the Standard & Poor's 500 moved up 0.2% to 1,454 and the
Nasdaq-100 was up 0.2% to 2,719.
All three major U.S. benchmarks
closed lower Tuesday, with expectations for U.S. companies' profit lines
mixed going into the latest reporting period that covers the final
three months of 2012.
for the fourth quarter Alcoa's income met analyst forecasts and the
company also projected growing demand for aluminum in 2013. Alcoa earned
$242 million, or 21 cents per share, compared to a loss of $191
million, or 18 cents per share, on a year-ago basis. Revenue hit $5.90
billion, which was more than the $5.58 billion predicted.
Alcoa is generally seen by investors as a bellwether for the health of the economy.
Markets in Asia had a positive trading session Wednesday, while European indexes were also advancing.