US STOCKS-Wall St edges up after Alcoa beats revenue estimates

* Alcoa shares rise after positive outlook for the year

* Clearwire rises after DISH offer, Sprint falls

* Indexes up: Dow 0.6 pct, S&P 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 0.5 pct

NEW YORK, Jan 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged higher on

Wednesday after Alcoa got the earnings season under way with

better-than-expected revenue and an encouraging outlook for the


The market's rise came after two-days of declines as there

were few catalysts to give direction and investors fretted about

the start of earnings season after the prior quarter's

lackluster performance.

Alcoa Inc said late on Tuesday it expects global

demand for aluminum to grow in 2013, though the company

expressed concern about the impact on business from a

confrontation in Washington over the U.S. budget. Shares of

Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, rose 0.5 percent to


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.

But the lowered expectations leave room for companies to

surprise investors even if their results aren't particularly

strong, analysts said.

The current quarter was shaping up like the one before, with

companies lowering expectations in recent weeks, James Dailey,

portfolio manager of TEAM Asset Strategy Fund in Harrisburg,

Pennsylvania, said.

"So the big question and focus is on revenue, and Alcoa had

better-than-expected revenue," calming the market a little,

Dailey said.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 73.35 points,

or 0.55 percent, at 13,402.20. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index

was up 5.16 points, or 0.35 percent, at 1,462.31. The

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 14.83 points, or 0.48

percent, at 3,106.64.

Among other earnings, Constellation Brands, whose

labels include Robert Mondavi and Ravenswood wines, reported

higher profit and raised its earnings forecast. The stock was

down 0.8 percent at $35.74.

Apollo Group Inc slid more than 11 percent 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 at $18.63.

Dish Network Corp late Tuesday announced a bid for

Clearwire Corp that trumped Sprint Nextel Corp's

$2.2 billion offer, setting the stage for a battle over the

wireless service provider.

Dish Network shares were up 2.1 percent at $36.73. Clearwire

was up 7.5 percent at $3.14, while Sprint lost 2 percent to


Hard drive maker Seagate Technology rose 4.2 percent

to $32.70 after it raised its second-quarter revenue forecast.

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