- Alcoa raises forecasts for aerospace demand
- Fed minutes to be released this evening
- Start of corporate earnings season in focus
Dow Jones Industrials: 0.25%
Nasdaq Composite: 0.51%
S&P 500: 0.22%
The main US stock benchmarks are moving slightly higher after Alcoa started off the quarterly earnings season last night and before the release, tonight, of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting.
jumped in early New York trading after the company posted quarterly profits that beat expectations and maintained its prediction that global demand for aluminium will recover in sectors such as automotive and building and construction, while the commercial transportation market will be steady.
In particular, Alcoa has raised its forecast for growth this year in the global aerospace market to between 8% and 9%, from between 7% to 8% previously.
Friday will see the release of the latest earnings from S&P 500
components such as JPMorgan and Wells Fargo.
That comes as a fair bit of market commentary highlighted the risk of a market pull-back should the pace of growth implied by economic data not pick up to meet analysts forecasts for earnings.
Later in the evening the Federal Reserve will publish the minutes of its March 18-19th meeting, which may shed further light behind the decision to slash a further $10bn off monthly bond purchases.
Investors will also be looking for more clues on interest rates after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said they might raise the benchmark rate in about six months after they end quantitative easing.
Last week Yellen said the bank's "extraordinary commitment to improving the labour market is still needed and will be for some time, and I believe that this view is widely held by my fellow policymakers at the Fed".
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said yesterday that stronger US growth will help the world economy withstand weaker recoveries in emerging markets, such as Russia and Brazil.
The IMF sees the US growing 2.8% this year and 3% in 2015, unchanged from forecasts in January. Gross domestic product in the US increased 1.9% last year.
Crude futures move higher
Front month West Texas crude futures are now edging higher by 0.06% to the $102.63/barrel mark on NYMEX.
10-year US Treasury yields rose by three basis points to 2.71%.