* Alcoa shares rise after positive outlook for the year
* Fourth-quarter earnings, revenues seen up 1.9 pct
* Herbalife up 4 pct on news hedge fund manager Loeb took
* Indexes up: Dow 0.5 pct, S&P 0.3 pct, Nasdaq 0.5 pct
By Gabriel Debenedetti
NEW YORK, Jan 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday as
Alcoa's better-than-expected revenue and a positive outlook
boosted investor confidence ahead of an earnings season expected
to show lackluster results.
The session's rise was the first of the week after the
market retreated from the S&P 500's highest point in five years,
hit last Friday. Worries about a weak earnings season kept the
markets down earlier in the week.
Shares of Alcoa Inc were trading flat after early
gains, following the company's earnings release after the bell
on Tuesday. The largest U.S. aluminum producer said it expects
global demand for aluminum to grow in 2013.
Traders have been cautious as the current quarter was
shaping up like the previous one, with companies lowering
expectations in recent weeks, said James Dailey, portfolio
manager of TEAM Asset Strategy Fund in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
"So the big question and focus is on revenue, and Alcoa had
better-than-expected revenue," which calmed the market a little,
Overall, corporate profits were expected to beat the
previous quarter's meager 0.1 percent rise. Both earnings and
revenues in the fourth quarter were expected to grow by 1.9
percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The lowered expectations also leave room for companies to
surprise investors even if their results are not particularly
strong, analysts said.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 59.47 points,
or 0.45 percent, at 13,388.32. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
rose 3.86 points, or 0.26 percent, at 1,461.01. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 14.93 points, or 0.48
percent, at 3,106.74.
Clearwire Corp shares jumped 7.7 percent to $3.15
after Dish Network bid $2.28 billion for the company,
trumping a previous Sprint offer and setting the stage for
a takeover battle for the wireless service provider that owns
crucial mobile spectrum.
Herbalife Ltd stock rose 4 percent to $39.89
following news that hedge fund manager Dan Loeb took a stake of
more than 8 percent in the nutritional supplements seller,
according to a regulatory filing. Prominent short-seller Bill
Ackman had previously accused the company of being a "pyramid
scheme," which Herbalife has vehemently denied.
Facebook Inc shares rose above $30 per share for the
first time since July 2012, trading up 4.7 percent at $30.43.
Facebook, which has been tight-lipped about its plans after its
botched IPO in May, invited the media to its headquarters next
Apollo Group Inc slid after heavier losses early
on, a day after it reported lower student sign-ups for the third
straight quarter and cut its operating profit outlook for 2013.
Apollo's shares were last off 6.6 percent at $19.55.