REFILE-US STOCKS-Wall St flat, caution prevails before earnings

(Refiles to change spelling of additional reporting credit)

* Alcoa to report Q2 results after market’s close

* Resource shares pulling stocks lower

* Dow off 0.02 pct, S&P down 0.1 pct, Nasdaq up 0.03 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to late afternoon, changes byline)

By Leah Schnurr

NEW YORK, July 12 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) were little
changed on Monday as China’s weakening demand for materials
weighed on resource shares and as the imminent start of
earnings season pushed investors to the sidelines.

Market players were trying to hold onto gains made last
week — the best week for stocks in a year — but were wary of
what surprises earnings season could bring. Dow component Alcoa
Inc (AA.N: ) reports its second-quarter results after the closing
bell.

Alcoa fell 1.5 percent to $10.78. Poor demand for materials
could hurt Alcoa’s results, and analysts have lowered their
quarterly earnings forecast for the company 10 times in the
last month, according Thomson Reuters data.

Investors will be “kicking the tires” of corporate results
to ascertain whether the economic recovery is still on track,
said John Stoltzfus, senior market strategist at Ticonderoga
Securities in New York.

“The rearview mirror of the actual results (will be) less
important than any guidance or forward looking forecasts that
management will provide,” Stoltzfus said.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) dipped 1.67 points,
or 0.02 percent, to 10,196.36. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index
(.SPX: ) was off 1.32 points, or 0.12 percent, to 1,076.64. The
Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) edged down 0.62 points, or 0.03
percent, at 2,195.83.

Resource shares led the way down, with the S&P Materials
index (.GSPM: ) sliding 1.1 percent after Chinese data over the
weekend showed the country’s copper demand dropped. Freeport
McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc (FCX.N: ) lost 4.6 percent to $62.92.

U.S.-listed shares of BP Plc (BP.N: ) jumped 7.2 percent to
$36.49 with the British company in talks with U.S. oil and gas
company Apache Corp (APA.N: ) and others to sell assets worth up
to $10 billion. For details, see [ID:nLDE66B0GF]

In addition to Alcoa, other Dow components set to report
earnings this week include Intel Corp (INTC.O: ), JPMorgan Chase
& Co (JPM.N: ) and General Electric Co (GE.N: ).

Alcoa’s stock has sent mixed signals from a technical
perspective of late. Alcoa is holding above its 14-day moving
average, but below the 50-day and 200-day averages.

Some option investors are bracing for potential volatility
around Alcoa’s earnings.

Among the top trades “was a buyer of August $11 straddles,
a volatility options play that would make money if Alcoa makes
a large percentage move in either direction after the company
releases their results later today,” said WhatsTrading.com
option strategist Frederic Ruffy.

For the second quarter, analysts see earnings growth of 27
percent for companies in the S&P 500, according to Thomson
Reuters data, up from previous readings in the past three
quarters, which hovered around 22 percent. This would also
exceed the 22.4 percent analysts were predicting at the
beginning of the year. [ID:nN08195712]
(Additional reporting by Doris Frankel; Editing by Padraic
Cassidy)

REFILE-US STOCKS-Wall St flat, caution prevails before earnings