US STOCKS-Wall St edges higher as investors await earnings

* Investors bullish about earnings, but volume seen weak

* Rise in commodity prices lift energy shares

* W. House, Congress facing midnight deadline on budget

* Indexes up: Dow, Nasdaq 0.1 pct, S&P 0.2 pct

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

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, April 8 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose slightly on
Friday as investors speculated quarterly earnings would show
continued growth, but volume was expected to be light.

The earnings season will begin unofficially with Alcoa Inc
(AA.N: Quote, Profile, Research), the first Dow component to release results after the
market’s close on Monday. JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and
Google Inc (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) are due to report later in the week.

Recent volume has been among the lowest of the year as
investors wait to see how corporations are faring in an
environment with overseas headwinds but also signs of

“Most people are very bullish and focused on earnings
season, which should see solid growth, especially in
financials, technology and commodities,” said Paul Brigandi,
vice president of trading at Direxion Funds in New York.

Brigandi added that the S&P was nearing resistance around
1,345, near its 2011 high, and that could make larger near-term
gains more difficult.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: Quote, Profile, Research) was up 12.00
points, or 0.10 percent, at 12,421.49. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: Quote, Profile, Research) was up 2.19 points, or 0.16 percent, at
1,335.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: Quote, Profile, Research) was up 3.62
points, or 0.13 percent, at 2,799.76.

Commodity stocks rose. Brent crude climbed to a 32-month
high and was at $124.49 a barrel on concern of a shortage of
Libyan oil. Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY.N: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 1 percent to
$102.16 and the S&P Energy index (.GSPE: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 0.6 percent.

“Commodity prices continue to rise, and that’s helping to
give a boost to the market overall,” Brigandi said.

The White House and Congress faced a midnight deadline to
break a budget deadlock and avoid a government shutdown. Steny
Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, told NBC’s “Today”
program that negotiators were “very close.” [ID:nN08144565]

Shares of Seagate Technology Plc (STX.O: Quote, Profile, Research) climbed 9.5
percent to $16.09 a day after it reinstated its dividend and
said it expects its third-quarter revenue and margins to come
in at the higher end of its previous guidance. [ID:nL3E7F73QV]

(Editing by Kenneth Barry)

US STOCKS-Wall St edges higher as investors await earnings