Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Stocks Stall on Aloca Waiting Game

Ahead of earnings from Alcoa, officially kicking off 2nd quarter reporting season, stocks were flatter than paint on a wall. Additionally, volume was at levels not seen in many months, completely lacking in conviction from buyers or sellers.

Still, three major averages managed to post their fifth consecutive day of gains, while the NYSE Composite surrendered a fractional loss.

Dow 10,216.27, +18.24 (0.18%)
NASDAQ 2,198.36, +1.19 (0.06%)
S&P 500 1,078.75, +0.79 (0.01%)
NYSE Composite 6,794.48. -14.23 (-0.22%)

Declining issues finished well ahead of advancing ones, 4185-2170, though new highs registered well in excess of new lows, 158-65. It's likely, as earnings reports begin to appear with regularity, that stocks will get a reprieve from the previous two months of fairly-uninterrupted selling. While corporations may report excellent second quarter results, the underlying economies - in the US and Europe, especially - remain under pressure from excessive government spending and overall flagging economic statistics.

NASDAQ Volume 1,329,977,875
NYSE Volume 2,923,618,750

In the commodities space, gold gained $6.70, to $1,205.20; silver added 18 cents, to $18.08, but crude oil slipped $1.14, to $74.95, as oil continues to show reluctance to move past the $75 per barrel mark.

Alcoa (AA) announced a .02 beat of street estimates, which is just barely good enough to satisfy skeptics.

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