Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Alcoa Worth the Wait; Gold Makes Another New High

The rally took a bit of a breather on Wall Street Wednesday, as traders awaited word from aluminum giant Alcoa (AA) on third quarter earnings. Traditionally the first Dow 30 stock to report, the company did not disappoint, reporting earnings of 4 cents per share and revenues of $4.62 billion, well ahead of analyst expectations of a 9 cent loss on revenue of $4.55 billion. Alcoa closed up 31 cents (14.20) at the close of regular trading, but, after their upside surprise, was about 6% higher, at 15.00, in extended trading.

This followed a day in which stocks vacillated along the break even line, in a narrowly split decision. Of the major averages, only the Dow finished in negative territory, and that was marginally there.

Dow 9,725.58, -5.67 (0.06%)
Nasdaq 2,110.33, +6.76 (0.32%)
S&P 500 1,057.58, +2.86 (0.27%)
NYSE Composite 6,912.65, +12.97 (0.19%)

Advancing issues beat decliners by a slight margin, 3284-3021, and new highs trounced new lows, 365-48. Volume was a bit on the low side, owing to the anticipatory nature of the market, kicking off 3rd quarter earnings season.

NYSE Volume 4,890,557,000
Nasdaq Volume 2,239,362,000

Commodities were split as the dollar gained some strength, though very little. Crude oil closed down $1.31, to $69.57, but gold set a new all-time high for the second day in a row, up $4.70, to $1,044.40. Silver tagged along for a gain of 21 cents, to $17.50, its high for the year. Analysts expect resistance for gold at $1050, but expect it to blast through that, and, with the weakened greenback, to reach $1100 by the end of the year.

With Alcoa's strong showing, stocks should be on the move to the upside again on Thursday.

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