Reuters Quote: US STOCKS-Wall St Higher…

US STOCKS-Wall St higher after solid start to earnings season

Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:57am EST

* Alcoa, Lennar profits top Wall Street estimates

* Sears, Tiffany both raise outlooks on strong sales

* Indexes up: Dow 0.45, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.4 pct

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

(Updates to open)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as the first major set of fourth-quarter earnings came in largely higher than expected, suggesting that the recent run-up in anticipation of results was justified.

Stocks have rallied in recent weeks in part on hopes of stronger corporate profits, with the S&P up 8.1 percent since the start of December.

Alcoa Inc (AA.N) posted a quarterly profit that topped Wall Street’s expectations, though revenue slightly missed the analyst average estimate. The aluminum maker also forecast a 12 percent rise in demand this year. For details, see [ID:nN10272473]

Both Sears Holding Corp (SHLD.O) and Tiffany & Co (TIF.N) raised their profit outlooks, citing strong sales. [ID:nN0550793] and [ID:nN11108814]

“Along with Alcoa, these raised outlooks suggest a stronger-than-expected season ahead,” said said Adam Sarhan, chief executive at the New York-based Sarhan Capital.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 52.63 points, or 0.45 percent, at 11,690.08. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX was up 6.19 points, or 0.49 percent, at 1,275.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXICwas up 11.52 points, or 0.43 percent, at 2,719.32.

Alcoa shares slid 1.2 percent to $16.30 but are up 24 percent since the start of December. Sears rose 8.8 percent to $76.77, and Tiffany rose 2.3 percent to $62.41.

Homebuilder Lennar Corp (LEN.N) rose 6.1 percent to $20.10 after after posting a fourth-quarter profit sharply higher than expected. [ID:nN10283415]

Supermarket chain Supervalu Inc (SVU.N) shed 12.7 percent to $7.50 after posting an adjusted third-quarter profit that missed expectations. [ID:nN11114998]

U.S. wholesale inventories for November will be reported at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT) on a light day for economic data. Inventories were expected to gain 1.0 percent after a 1.9 percent rise in October. Estimates for November ranged from 0.5-2.0 percent in a Reuters poll. (Editing by Padraic Cassidy).


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