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The Markets Now: Stocks Slightly Lower Ahead of Earnings Season


Plus, Google may announce tomorrow that Austin, Texas, will be next location for the Google Fiber project.

Stocks have remained lower today as investors wait for Alcoa (NYSE:AA) and others to begin reporting earnings for the first quarter of 2013. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) decreased 0.31% to 14,520.40. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) dropped 0.09% to 1,551.90, and the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) fell 0.09% to 3,200.87. Here are the companies that will kick off earnings season today for the first quarter of 2013.

The US Treasury announced today that it will auction $45 billion worth of 4-week Treasury bills tomorrow. The US Treasury also announced today that it auctioned $35 billion worth of 3-month Treasury bills at a 0.065% rate with a bid-to-cover ratio of 4.87 and auctioned $30 billion worth of 6-month Treasury bills at a 0.095% with a bid-to-cover ratio of 4.95.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak at the Atlanta Fed Conference in Stone Mountain, Georgia at 6 p.m. EDT tonight.

Alcoa increased 0.06% to $8.24. After the closing today, according to Bloomberg, 18 analysts expect Alcoa (the first member of the Dow to release results) to report a profit of $0.08 per share versus $0.10 per share in the prior year quarter.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) fell 1.62% to $770.83. Some expect Google will announce in Austin, Texas, tomorrow that the city will be the next location of the Google Fiber project. Analysts at Bernstein project it will cost $11 billion to build gigabit Internet and TV service for another 20 million homes.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) dropped 1.61% to $80.72. JPMorgan analyst Michael Weinstein downgraded the medical company from Overweight to Neutral, citing the fact that the stock's 30% price increase since the beginning of 2013 reflects the company's fundamentals. Weinstein has a price target of $83.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) rose 1.40% to $26.81. First Solar's Executive Vice President James Brown agreed to step down a day before the company will discuss its annual outlook with analysts and investors.

The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) fell 1.46% to $30.45. The Dow Personal Care unit of Dow Chemical entered into a distribution agreement with Nexeo Solutions. Nexeo distributes chemicals, plastics, composites, and environmental services globally.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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