New York, NY, United States (AHN) – U.S. stocks were little changed on the open Tuesday as investors await earnings from bellwether Alcoa, which reports after the close, and marks the official kick-off to earnings season.
Just after 9:30 a.m. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 10 points, the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index was flat and the NASDAQ added 5 points.
Analysts are warning that first quarter earnings are not going to be pretty, and are forecasting a 0.1 percent drop in earning for companies in the S&P 500 compared to a year earlier, according to FactSet. While a small decline, it would end a nine-quarter winning streak.
Stocks enjoyed their best first quarter in more than a decade during the first three month of 2012, and many analysts say the markets are due for a pause in the coming weeks.
Markets were mauled Monday following Friday’s weak jobs reports.
Aluminum producer Alcoa is expected to report a 14.5 percent drop in earnings, and its release sets the tone for others in the material sectors that have all been under pressure amid looming fears of a global slowdown.
In world markets, European stocks were lower in afternoon trading. Asian markets ended the day mixed.
In currencies and commodities, the dollar gained against the British pound, but slipped against the Japanese yen.
Oil for May delivery dropped 31 cents to $ 102.15 a barrel, and gold futures for April delivery gained $ 4.20 to $ 1,646.70 a troy ounce.
Category: Market And Exchange
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