Market Hustle: Stock Futures Rise After Alcoa's Positive Surprise

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were rising Wednesday after bellwether Alcoa beat earnings estimates to kick off first-quarter earnings season.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were rising 24.86 over fair value to 16,209.0 while futures for the S&P 500 were 1.04 over fair value to 1,846.5. Futures for the Nasdaq were 5.64 over fair value to 3,530.6

  • After Tuesday's closing bell, Alcoa said it earned 9 cents a share on an adjusted basis, ahead of expectations for 5 cents a share. Shares gained 2.4% in after-hours trading. Alcoa has cut production costs to try and counter the impact of weak aluminum prices due to global oversupply. Other companies expected to see price action Wednesday include Constellation Brands , which is projected to post fourth-quarter earnings of 76 cents a share, and Bed Bath & Beyond , which is projected to announce fourth-quarter earnings of $1.60 a share. Shares in WD-40  shed 1% in extended trading Tuesday after the company said higher costs caused fiscal second-quarter profit to fall to $10.3 million from $10.5 million a year earlier.
  • Bank shares may also see price action after regulatory rules approved Tuesday mean the eight largest banks will have to add about $68 billion in additional capital.
  • In Ukraine, negotiations continue in an effort to try to resolve an occupation of state security buildings by pro-Kremlin activists in three eastern cities. The activists have been accused of taking hostages and wiring the buildings with explosives.
  • On the economic calendar, all eyes will be on the Federal Reserve meeting minutes at 2 p.m. EDT. The central bank cut its stimulus program for the third time to $55 billion a month in March. Few surprises are expected, given the Fed has become far more transparent around its thinking.
  • In international markets, the Hang Seng closed up 1.09% while the Nikkei shed 2.10%. Germany's DAX was rising 0.36% while the FTSE was 0.70% higher.
  • Markets rebounded Tuesday to halt a three-day selloff as investors bought back into trendy tech stocks such as Google and Netflix that have been punished this year

-- Written by Jane Searle in New York