Equities Roundup: Stocks Trading Flat as Investors Brace for Earnings

Equities Editors Desk  |

After yesterday's strong upswing, Wall Street is treading carefully just as earnings season is set to begin. All eyes seem to be on Alcoa (AA), as the leading aluminum producer is first on deck to report their third quarter results. Shares of Alcoa have been battered this year, falling as much as 50 percent from its April high during the past several months. Monday's upsurge was sparked mostly by a renewed pledge from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to present a plan by the end of the month to deal with Europe's sovereign debt crisis. The momentum took a slight hit today as Slovak leaders are torn between the nearly $600 billion European Financial Stability Facility. In the U.S., political gridlock could also derail a potential rescue effort with Republicans are expected to vote down President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs bill later today. The President has been campaigning hard for the passage of his proposal and has gone as far saying he'll hold Republicans accountable if the bill does not pass. The Republican-controlled Senate has stood firm on its objections to the plan, which calls for increased stimulus spending, tax increases on the wealthy, and tax cuts for workers. Meanwhile, protesters of the Occupy Wall Street movement are zeroing in on Manhattan, primarily the homes of billionaire bankers such as Goldman Sachs' (GS) Lloyd Blankfein and JP Morgan's (JPM) Jamie Dimon. The public demonstrations  have spread to other major metropolitan cities all around the country, with rallies planned in at least 56 campuses for Thursday.

DJIA: 11,429.66 (-0.03 percent)
S&P 500: 1,195.65 (+0.06 percent)
NASDAQ: 2,577.34 (+0.44 percent)
Russell 2000: 685.10 (+0.03 percent)

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