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Futures Tick Higher; Alcoa Gains After Earnings

Tuesday, 9 Jul 2013 | 8:33 AM ET

U.S. stock index futures edged higher Tuesday, with major averages looking to post their fourth-straight session higher, as upbeat results from Alcoa lifted optimism over the second quarter earnings season.

Dow component Alcoa rose after the aluminum maker posted earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street expectations, adding it remains optimistic that global demand for aluminum will grow 7 percent this year. Alcoa unofficially marks the start to each earnings season.

Meanwhile, Intuitive Surgical tumbled sharply after the medical devices maker said it expects second-quarter revenue below analysts' expectations.

Later this week, financial giants JPMorgan and Wells Fargo are scheduled to report earnings.

As of Friday, 122 S&P 500 companies had made earnings pre-announcements, and the ratio of negative-to-positive ones was 6.5-to-one, according to Reuters. That is the biggest percent of negative readings since 2001.

(Read More: Firms Set to Beat Lowered Bar for Earnings Season)

Kroger said it will acquire grocery store chain Harris Teeter for $2.5 billion in cash.

Barnes & Noble announced its CEO William Lynch has resigned effective immediately, but did not provide a specific reason for his departure. The company had originally hired him in to improve the struggling Nook business.

In addition, New-York-based investment bank Allen & Co will host its annual conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Big names expected to attend include New Jersey governor Christ Christie, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and News Corp's Rupert Murdoch, according to a guest list seen by Variety magazine.

In other news, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will release its "World Economic Outlook" on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. ET. The head of the organization, Christine Lagarde, hinted at the weekend that the IMF could trim global growth forecasts.

On the economic front, small business optimism slipped in June from its one-year high amid uncertainty over the economic recovery, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

The Treasury is schedule to auction $32 billion in 3-year notes with the results shortly available after 1pm ET.

In Asia, investors largely ignored unexpectedly high consumer inflation numbers from China, despite fears that strong price rises will rule out the prospect of monetary easing by the Chinese central bank.

"CPI [consumer price inflation] data is not a market mover. Short-term focus is still on shadow banking. Investors are wondering if China's banking system can sustain a decline in GDP [gross domestic product] growth," said Stephen Sheung, head of investment strategy at SHK Private.

Meanwhile, Japan's benchmark index closed just shy of a new six-week high, as the dollar-yen trade breached the 101-yen handle.

(Watch Now: Your Japan Trade: Short China-Exposed Firms)

—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)

Coming Up This Week:

TUESDAY: 3-yr note auction, IMF world economic outlook
WEDNESDAY: MBA mortgage applications, wholesale trade, oil inventories, 10-yr note auction, FOMC minutes; Earnings from Family Dollar, Yum Brands, Chevron (interim report)
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, import & export prices, natural gas inventories, 30-yr bond auction, Treasury budget, Fed balance sheet/money supply, chain store sales, Nokia event
FRIDAY: Producer price index, consumer sentiment; Earnings from JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Infosys

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