US STOCKS-Markets advance as Alcoa lifts earnings optimism

* Earnings season starts with strong Alcoa, CSX results

* U.S. trade gap unexpectedly widens in May

* Euro-zone remains in focus as Moody’s cuts Portugal

* Indexes up: Dow 1 pct, S&P 1 pct, Nasdaq 0.9 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to morning trading)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, July 13 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) climbed on
Tuesday, with all indexes briefly above 1 percent after
better-than-expected results from Alcoa Inc (AA.N: ) and CSX Corp
(CSX.N: ) gave a promising start to the earnings season and
sparked a broad rally.

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.
Rail company CSX also posted a higher-than-expected profit. For
details, see [ID:nN12206110] and [ID:nN12205564]

“Alcoa and CSX are core industrial companies that had
nothing but good things to say, making it harder to find
evidence of this double-dip recession we were worried about a
month ago,” said James Meyer, chief investment officer at Tower
Bridge Advisors in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

Alcoa gained 1.9 percent to $11.08 while CSX was up 1.8
percent at $53.43.

Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York
Stock Exchange by a ratio of 12 to one, while on the Nasdaq,
eight stocks rose for every one that fell.

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.

Earnings will continue to be reported in full force, with
bellwether Intel Corp’s (INTC.O: ) results 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.

“I’m expecting strong results from both Intel and JPMorgan,
but there’s no question that their results are key if we’re
going to keep moving forward,” Meyer said.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) was up 105.88
points, or 1.04 percent, at 10,322.15. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: ) was up 10.84 points, or 1.00 percent, at
1,089.59. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) was up 19.12
points, or 0.87 percent, at 2,217.48.

Even as traders focused on earnings, the euro zone crisis
remained in view as ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service cut
its rating on Portugal by two notches to A1. Separately, the
U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly widened in May, though this was
also ignored by the markets. [ID:nLDE66C0FN] and
[ID:nN12154011]

U.S.-listed shares of BP Plc (BP.N: ) (BP.L: ) rose 1.1 percent
to $37.13 as the company prepared to try and seal off its
runaway well in the Gulf of Mexico with a new cap that it says
could finally arrest the flow of oil. [ID:nN13221621]

American International Group Inc (AIG.N: ) rose 1.9 percent
to $36.23. The company’s board 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.
[ID:nTOE66C00I]

(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

US STOCKS-Markets advance as Alcoa lifts earnings optimism