REFILE-US STOCKS-Futures up after encouraging start to earnings

(Fixes typo in company name in 4th paragraph)

* Alcoa, CSX start earnings season with strong results

* Intel to report results after the market close

* Euro-zone concerns persist as Moody’s cuts Portugal

* Futures up: Dow 64 pts, S&P 8.5 pts, Nasdaq 15.5 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]

(Updates prices, adds quote)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, July 13 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures were
higher on Tuesday after better-than-expected results from Alcoa
Inc (AA.N: ) and CSX Corp (CSX.N: ) gave a promising start to the
earnings season.

Alcoa, the first Dow component to report, posted
second-quarter earnings that beat expectations late on Monday,
raising hopes of similarly strong results for other companies
this season. Rail company CSX also posted a
higher-than-expected profit. For details, see [ID:nN12206110]
and [ID:nN12205564]

Alcoa shares were up 4.5 percent to $11.36 in premarket
trading while CSX closed Monday at $52.46.

“Alcoa got the season off to a positive start, suggesting
that earnings could be better than the market had been
indicating,” said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView
Capital Management in New York.

Investors have been eagerly awaiting the season for
confirmation that a recent rally was justified. Last week, the
S&P posted its strongest week of the year, rising more than 5
percent.

Caution had prevailed in the market on Monday ahead of the
Alcoa’s and CSX’s results, with stocks closing slightly higher
in light trade.

The season continues in full force, with bellwether Intel
Corp (INTC.O: ) scheduled for release after the market closes,
and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: ) and General Electric Co (GE.N: )
on tap for later this week.

“Alcoa shifted the tone of the market dramatically from
cautious to optimistic, but if there’s a disappointment in
Intel’s results that could derail at least the large-cap tech
space,” said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Equity
Markets in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Kenny added that he felt a disappointing report from Intel
was “very unlikely.”

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) rose 8.5 points and were above fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures (DJc1: ) gained 64
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) were up 15.5 points.

Concerns persisted about the euro-zone region after ratings
agency Moody’s Investor Service cut its rating on Portugal by
two notches to A1. Market reaction was relatively muted,
though, as rival agency S&P already had cut Portugal’s rating
by two notches in April. [ID:nLDE66C0FN]

“Everyone expects further volatility in the euro zone
region, but now that we have concrete data in the form of
earnings, this shouldn’t drive the market,” Meckler said.

Economic data scheduled for Tuesday includes the U.S.
Commerce Department figures for international trade at 8:30
a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) and the monthly federal budget data at 2
p.m. (1800 GMT)

U.S.-listed shares of BP Plc (BP.N: ) (BP.L: ) rose 1.8 percent
to $37.42 in premarket trading as it prepared to try and seal
off its runaway well with a new cap that it says could finally
arrest the flow of oil spewing from the floor of the Gulf of
Mexico. [ID:nN13221621]

The board of American International Group Inc (AIG.N: ) is
set to meet this week to consider the future of its AIA unit,
with a public float seen as the most likely outcome, sources
said on Tuesday. Its shares closed at $35.57 on Monday.
[ID:nTOE66C00I]

In other stock markets, Europe’s pan-European FTSEurofirst
300 (.FTEU3: ) index of leading shares was up 1.7 percent and was
on track to close higher for the sixth straight day. In Asia,
equities were pressured by reports that China will not relax
tougher property measures anytime soon, a move which touched a
nerve among investors who are already sensitive to how much
China’s economy (Read more about the fastest growing economy.) is slowing. [ID:nTOE66C004]

REFILE-US STOCKS-Futures up after encouraging start to earnings