July 8, 2009

U.S. markets make tentative gains

U.S. markets inched up Wednesday morning on a day in which Alcoa kicks off what is expected to be a disappointing corporate reporting season.

Alcoa reports its second quarter earnings after the closing bell Wednesday. With unemployment rising, expectations that corporations could squeeze a profit out of a struggling consumer base are sinking.

In midmorning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 30.98 points, or 0.38 percent, to 8,194.58. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.42 percent, 3.66 points, to 884.69. The Nasdaq composite index added 3.09 points, 0.18 percent, to 1,751.32.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond rose 2/32 to yield 3.449 percent.

The euro fell to $1.3905, compared to Tuesday's $1.3913. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar fell to 94.28 yen, compared to Tuesday's 94.81 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei average lost 227.04 points to 9,420.75, down 2.35 percent.