Stocks Start Higher After Alcoa’s Profit Tops Forecasts

U.S. stocks rose at the open on Tuesday, after Alcoa’s earnings caused moderate optimism at the start of the earnings season. The Dow Jones industrial average lately rose 75.07 points or 0.49 percent, to 15,299.76, the S&P 500 gained 8.89 points or 0.54 percent, to 1,649.35 and the Nasdaq Composite added 10.31 points or 0.30 percent, to 3,495.14.

After Monday’s closing bell, Alcoa (NYSE:AA) reported a second-quarter loss of 11 cents a share on revenue of $5.85 billion. However, excluding nonrecurring items, the aluminum giant earned 7 cents a share, beating Wall Street’s forecast of 6 cents a share.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday trimmed its estimate of U.S. and world economic growth. The IMF lowered its global outlook by 0.2 percentage points this year and next, forecasting 3.1% growth in 2013 and 3.8% growth in 2014. The IMF now sees U.S. growth of 1.7% in 2013 and 2.7% in 2014, a reduction of 0.2 points both years, due to stronger fiscal contraction.

Grocery company Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) will purchase Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. (NYSE:HTSI) for $2.5 billion, including debt, the two companies said Tuesday. Kroger will pay $49.38 for each Harris Teeter share, a premium of 33.7% over the closing price on Jan. 18.

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