U.S. stocks started mildly lower on Wednesday after a sharp two-day run higher, with investors stepping back as earnings season kicks off with Alcoa reporting results tonight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 17 points to 9,713. The S&P 500 fell a point to 1,053, while the Nasdaq Composite stood flat at 2,104. The earnings so far this morning are pretty good. Costco, Family Dollar, Monsanto, and Wolverine Worldwide are higher following earnings. Yum Brands easily beat earnings last night, but the stock is modestly lower this morning. Plenty of analyst upgrades for a second straight day. In the tech sector Dell, Seagate, Research in Motion, Google, and Cisco were all upgraded. Most are higher. Within the financials Bank of America, Suntrust, Wells Fargo, and Fifth Third Bank were upgraded. Only Suntrust is modestly lower. In the retail space Disney, Under Armour, Kohls, Bed Bath & Beyond, Coke, and Ann Taylor were all upgraded. All these upgrades don't seem to be helping the broader averages much. After the first half an hour the Dow remained in the red. The Nasdaq remained unchanged.
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