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Stocks up ahead of earnings season

Apr. 09, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- Stocks edged higher Monday, erasing an early loss, as major U.S. companies prepared to start reporting first-quarter results.

Alcoa will release its results after the markets close Monday. The aluminum company will be the first member of the Dow Jones industrial average to report earnings for the quarter.

The Dow was up six points, or 0.1 percent, to 14,571, having started the day lower and fallen as much as 67 points during morning trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,558.

Telecommunications and health care stocks were the only industries to decline, down 0.7 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

The two industry groups have performed well this year, as investors have sought less risky stocks that pay good dividends. Health care companies are up almost 16 percent, making them the best performers in the S&P 500.