US STOCKS-Futures down after strongest 2010 week, await Alcoa

* Alcoa to report Q2 results after market close

* Crude oil lower after last week’s gains

* Aon to buy Hewitt for $4.9 billion

* Futures down: Dow 42 pts, S&P 4.2 pts, Nasdaq 7.25 pts

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

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, July 12 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures were
down on Monday, following the S&P’s best week in a year, and as
investors awaited the unofficial start of earnings season with
Alcoa Inc’s (AA.N: ) results.

* Investors also remained concerned about the fiscal issues
in Europe ahead of the “stress tests” put on the continent’s
banks. Over the weekend, a German magazine reported that the
test included a haircut on German sovereign debt under certain
conditions in its worst scenario. [ID:nLDE66A061]

* Alcoa, the first Dow component to report, is expected to
swing to a profit in its second quarter, though analysts have
been cutting their estimates for the firm due to falling
aluminum prices. The results will be released after the market
closes. For details, see [ID:nN09269488]

* 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 be
higher than the 22.4 percent analysts were predicting at the
beginning of the year [ID:nN08195712]

* August crude futures fell 0.6 percent to $75.65 per
barrel after gaining more than 5 percent last week, as traders
locked in profits ahead of earnings season and fresh U.S.
economic data. [ID:nSGE66B02T]

* In deal news, Aon Corp (AON.N: ) agreed to buy Hewitt
Associates Inc (HEW.N: ) for $4.9 billion in cash and stock.
[ID:nSGE66B0DN]

* U.S. office products retailer Staples Inc (SPLS.O: ) will
complete a proposed deal to buy Corporate Express Australia
(CXP.AX: ), the company said on Sunday without disclosing the
terms of the deal. [ID:nN11155547]

* S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) fell 4.2 points and were below
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: ) fell 42
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) lost 7.25 points.

* On Saturday, Dow component Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N: ),
which was recently forced to recall children’s Tylenol and
other over-the-counter pediatric medicines, was sued in a
federal court in Chicago by consumers unhappy with the
company’s plan to offer coupons or replacement products to
those who bought the affected drugs. [ID:nN10129977]

* U.S.-listed shares of BP Plc (BP.L: ) (BP.N: ) rose 2.8
percent to $34.99 in premarket trading a day after sources said
the company was in talks with Apache Corp (APA.N: ) and other
companies over potential asset sales. [ID:nLDE66B0GF]

* China’s exports rose 43.9 percent in June from a year
earlier and imports were up 34.1 percent, the General
Administration of Customs said on Saturday. However, the data
also showed Chinese copper demand dropped, hurting mining
stocks. U.S.-listed shares of Rio Tinto Plc (RTP.N: ) dropped 3.1
percent to $46.78 before the bell. [ID:nSGE66B007]

* Japan’s Nikkei average (.N225: ) inched lower on Monday
while European stocks dipped in morning trade following stellar
gains last week ahead of the start of the earnings season.

* Wall Street closed out its best week in a year on Friday,
snapping back from a long stretch of selling, as investors
looked ahead to what many expect will be a solid earnings
season.

(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

US STOCKS-Futures down after strongest 2010 week, await Alcoa