GLOBAL MARKETS-Markets little changed ahead of Draghi, Fed minutes

Wed Jul 9, 2014 10:58am EDT

* Alcoa's beat boosts Wall Street stocks
    * Euro edges up versus greenback

 (Updates prices, changes comments, byline, dateline, previous
LONDON)
    By Rodrigo Campos
    NEW YORK, July 9 (Reuters) - A global stocks index was
little changed on Wednesday as strong U.S. earnings offset
weaker European industrial data ahead of key central bank news.
    Markets were looking ahead to a speech by European Central
Bank President Mario Draghi and minutes from the most recent
Federal Reserve meeting, with special focus on any mention of a
timeline to raise U.S. interest rates and the Fed's take on
strengthening economic data.
    Alcoa Inc reported results after Wall Street closed
Tuesday, beating analysts' expectations and lifting the aluminum
maker's stock more than 3 percent.
    Wall Street opened higher, lifted by the good earnings mood,
but gains are barely making a dent on losses sustained in the
previous two sessions.
    "The market was encouraged by Alcoa, especially since we
were arguably oversold in the very short term," said Steve
Sosnick, equity-risk manager at Timber Hill/Interactive Brokers
Group in Greenwich, Connecticut. 
    "However, it's hard to predict big moves ahead of all the
news coming out next week, and there's no reason to suspect we
couldn't pull back further," he said, in reference to the heavy
earnings calendar.
    The Dow Jones industrial average rose 49.19 points or
0.29 percent, to 16,955.81, the S&P 500 gained 7.42
points or 0.38 percent, to 1,971.13 and the Nasdaq Composite
 added 23.24 points or 0.53 percent, to 4,414.70.
    The FTSEuroFirst 300 index of leading European shares was
down less than 0.1 percent and MSCI's global gauge of
stocks ticked up less than 0.1 percent.
    The dollar edged 0.15 percent lower against a basket of
currencies and the euro strengthened 0.2 percent against
the greenback.
    Regarding the Fed minutes, any discussion by Fed members
about a recent uptick in U.S. consumer prices will be key after
Fed Chair Janet Yellen downplayed heating inflation data after
the June meeting as being "noisy." 
    "The characterization by Fed Chair Yellen of the inflation
pop-up as noise really took the wind out of the sails of the
near-term hawks," said Steven Englander, global head of G10
foreign exchange strategy at CitiFX in New York.
    Overnight, China said its consumer price index rose 2.3
percent in June from a year earlier, shy of the consensus
forecast of 2.4 percent, and a sign economic activity may be
cooling. 
    U.S. bond markets were steady ahead of the Fed minutes and
Draghi's appearance in London, where two years ago he delivered
his speech pledging to do "whatever it takes" to save the euro.
    The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield was
unchanged at 2.565 percent with traders setting up for $21
billion in 10-year note supply. The yield on Germany's Bund
 slipped to a 14-month low of 1.21 percent.
    Upbeat U.S. employment data last week prompted some
economists to predict the Fed would raise interest rates earlier
than previously thought, but yields have since fallen, with
investors cautious about the strength of the recovery.
    Brent oil fell 0.5 percent to $108.35 per barrel and
U.S. crude dropped 0.9 percent to $102.49.
    Gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,324.70 an ounce.

 (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos Additional reporting by Ryan
Vlastelica, Karen Brettell and Richard Leong; Editing by James
Dalgleish)