July 8, 2009

U.S. markets edge lower

Early gains in U.S. markets faded Wednesday 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 early afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 16.25 points, or 0.2 percent, to 8,147.35. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 0.54 percent, 4.77 points, to 876.26. The Nasdaq composite index shed 5.75 points, 0.33 percent, to 1,740.42.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond rose 1 2/32 to yield 3.327 percent.

The euro fell to $1.3861, compared to Tuesday's $1.3913. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar fell to 92.78 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.

In London, the FTSE 100 index lost 1.12 percent, 46.77 points, to 4,140.23.