January 09, 2012- The stock futures on Wall Street Wednesday morning were little changed as earnings season kicked off with an upbeat report by Alcoa (NYSE: AA) along with a remark of caution on the debt ceiling from the CEO of the aluminum giant. Earnings season will not hit high gear until next week when big banks release their most recent quarterly reports. One bank, Wells Fargo, is scheduled to release its earnings on Friday.
On Tuesday, the major stock indexes in the U.S. slipped for the second consecutive session as investors waited patiently for the earnings season to start with Alcoa’s report. On Tuesday afternoon, Alcoa reported its earnings were in line with estimates of 6 cents per share on sales of over $5.9 billion, which was higher that estimates. In Wednesday’s premarket trading, Alcoa shares were up over 2%.
The company announced that it expected to do well in 2013 due to global demand increasing for aluminum. Klaus Kleinfeld the CEO of Alcoa said in an interview that the U.S. needed to resolve its issue of debt ceiling or market confidence will be destroyed.
A global strategist has said that the S&P 500 fourth quarter growth estimates have come down steadily since September. One reason is there are expectations that the tech sector might be hit by Apple. Expectations are that Apple might suffer a year-to-year drop in its quarterly earnings, which is highly rare for the tech giant.
Gold on Wednesday morning was up 80 cents for February delivery to $1,663 per ounce, while crude oil, also for February delivery, was down to $93.04 an 11-cent drop.
In London in midday trading, the FTSE 100 was up by 0.3%, while the German DAX was up just 0.2%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong closed up 0.46% and Japan’s Nikkei Average was up 0.67%, as the yen fell due to the anticipation of additional stimulus from Japan’s Central Bank.