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Jul 9, 12:05 PM EDT

US stocks creep higher after two days of losses

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are edging higher in midday trading after corporate earnings got off to an encouraging start.

The early gains Wednesday follow two days of losses for major U.S. indexes.

Alcoa rose 4 percent after reporting earnings the night before that were better than investors were expecting.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 20 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,928 as of noon Eastern time.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose four points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,967. The Nasdaq composite rose 12 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,404.

As companies begin turning in second-quarter results this week, investors will be looking for signs that the strengthening U.S. economy has translated into higher profits.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.58 percent.

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