Stocks edge higher ahead of earnings season

Stocks edge higher ahead of earnings season; Alcoa results are better than analysts expected

Associated Press
Stocks edge higher as earnings reports begin
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FILE- In this Thursday, April 4, 2013, file photo, trader Luigi Muccitelli, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, April 4, 2013. Asian stock markets were mixed Monday April 8, 2013 amid concerns about tensions on the Korean Peninsula and bird flu in China, but European stocks rose as traders looked ahead to corporate earnings season in the U.S. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street as traders turn their focus to U.S. corporate earnings reports.

Aluminum maker Alcoa became the first company in the Dow Jones industrial average to report first-quarter results. The earnings, which came in shortly after the closing bell, were better than analysts were expecting.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 48 points, or 0.3 percent, to end at 14,613 Monday.

Other indexes posted slightly bigger gains. The Standard & Poor's 500 index increased nine points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,563.

The Nasdaq composite rose 18 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3,222.

Two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was light at 2.8 billion shares.

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