US stock futures edge up as earnings get underway

The Associated Press

U.S. stock futures are edging higher as corporate earnings season gets underway. Alcoa rose after the company reported results late Tuesday.

KEEPING SCORE: In pre-market trading, Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 60 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,240 as of 8:45 a.m. Eastern time. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures increased five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,850. Nasdaq futures increased 16 points, or 0.5 percent, to 3,545. The major indexes closed higher on Tuesday after three days of losses.

A IS FOR: Aluminum producer Alcoa reported better results than analysts expected after the market closed Tuesday. Its stock bumped up 44 cents, or 4 percent, to $12.97, in pre-market trading.

ECONOMY WATCH: The Federal Reserve will release minutes from its March interest-rate meeting later today. The Commerce Department reports this morning how much U.S. wholesale businesses adjusted their stockpiles in February. The month before, wholesalers saw the steepest sales drop in nearly five years, yet continued to increase stockpiles.

EUROPE: The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.7 percent. Germany's DAX rose 0.4 percent, while the CAC-40 in France was 0.5 percent higher.

ASIA: In Japan, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 stock average closed down 2.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.1 percent.

BONDS AND COMMODITIES: In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 2.70 percent from 2.68 percent late Tuesday. The price of crude oil rose 23 cents to $102.80 a barrel. Gold fell $5 to $1,304.10 an ounce