US stocks rise as investors buy ahead of bank results

US stocks eked out a gain yesterday as investors looked ahead to earnings from big banks and tech bellwethers, even as disappointing revenue from Alcoa acted as a headwind.

With the Standard & Poor’s index up about 40 per cent over the past year, some analysts say stock gains during earnings season could be minimal as equities tend to do worse in earnings periods after making gains in anticipation of strong results.

Alcoa late on Monday reported revenue that failed to meet expectations, sending its stock down 3.2 per cent to $14.11.

“Alcoa is just one company, but if that’s the norm, there’s going to be some resistance,” said Paul Kasriel, senior vice president at Northern Trust in Chicago.

The Dow Jones industrial average finished up 13 points, or 0.12 per cent, at 11,019.42.

After the market closed, chipmaker and Dow component Intel reported a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit, sending its shares 3.8 per cent higher to $23.63.