Dow Jones

US SHARE prices ended with modest gains yesterday after expectations grew that stronger corporate earnings would signal that the economy was continuing to rebound.

The market overcame an early slide to post modest gains ahead of quarterly results from computer chip giant Intel, which were due after the close of the US markets last night. Stocks had fallen after earnings from aluminium producer Alcoa missed expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 13.45 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 11,019.42. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index edged up 0.82 point, or 0.1 per cent, at 1,197.30. The Nasdaq Composite index advanced 8.12 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,465.99.

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On Monday the Dow ended above 11,000 for the first time since September 2008.

Alcoa late on Monday reported earnings in line with expectations, but its revenue missed Wall Street's estimates, pushing the stock down 3.2 per cent. Alcoa was the first Dow component to report first-quarter results.

"Sure, there's some disappointment in Alcoa … (but] I think there are higher expectations for the overall market," said Michael James, senior trader at regional investment bank Wedbush Morgan in Los Angeles.

"The question is, are those positive expectations reflected (in stock prices]", he said.

S&P 500 earnings are expected to rise 37 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The S&P 500 stock index is up nearly 40 per cent over the past year, causing some analysts to speculate stock gains from earnings could be minimal,

Some bank shares fell as UBS cut its rating on regional banks.