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Alcoa earnings to hit Wall Street; oil in focus

Katy Barnato

U.S. stock indexes looked set to open higher on Monday, when earnings season will kick off with numbers from industrial bellwether Alcoa (NYSE: AA).

With expectations low for earnings season, the major U.S. averages declined by more than 1 percent last week, marking the worst performance since February.

"The technical tone is weakening as the earnings season begins in earnest… and during earnings season, companies which are among the featured equity buyers are sidelined," BBH strategists led by Marc Chandler said in a note on Sunday.

Alcoa will hold a conference call at 5 p.m. ET on Monday.

No major economic news is due during the day.

U.S. stock index futures and European shares were boosted as crude oil prices (New York Mercantile Exchange: @CL.1) recovered from session lows early on Monday. Oil prices are in focus ahead of an upcoming meeting of oil-producing countries in Qatar at the weekend that could see output levels frozen.

Stocks to watch during Wall Street trade include Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), after the Wall Street Journal cited sources saying the Daily Mail & General Trust (London Stock Exchange: DMGT-GB) was in talks with private equity firms for a possible bid.

The newspaper also said that Yahoo had spoken to other bidders, including Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), CBS (NYSE: CBS) and InterActiveCorp.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) will be the first Dow-listed stock to report this week, on Wednesday.

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