Alcoa Beats Expectations, Shell Gets New CEO: Morning Buzzers

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U.S. stocks have risen after Alcoa (NYSE:AA) kicked off earnings season with better-than-expected results. The aluminum producer, which is traditionally the first company in the Dow to report earnings, posted sales and profit that topped analyst estimates.

Futures at 8:30 a.m.: DJIA: +0.26%  S&P 500: +0.42%  NASDAQ: +0.40%

Here’s what’s buzzing Tuesday morning:

Alcoa kicked off earnings season Monday by closing the day up 1.41 percent and advancing as much as 1.2 percent further in post-market trading after beating earnings estimates. The aluminum company reported sales of $5.85 billion, a decline of 1.8 percent on the year but ahead of estimates for sales of $5.83 billion… (Read more.)

Shell (NYSE:RDSA) has unexpectedly appointed a new CEO, naming Refining Chief Ben van Beurden to the post after Peter Voser decided to leave the company. Van Beurden was a surprise choice — observers of the company had several other executives in mind for the job — but analysts are saying the move shows that the company will renew its focus on operations amid criticism that the company isn’t generating enough returns.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will reportedly release details about its reorganization Thursday. Analysts are expecting CEO Steven Ballmer to gather the company’s focus around software and devices for consumers and businesses. Many of the company’s top executives are expected to be shuffled around, although it doesn’t seem as though a successor for Ballmer is yet in place.

Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) CEO William Lynch is leaving the company after the massive failure of Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablets to compete in the tablet or e-reader markets. The bookseller gave a severely disappointing earnings report two weeks ago, revealing that the last large bookstore chain in the U.S. may soon follow in the defunct Borders’s footsteps in the face of competition from Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN).

DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) along with Guggenheim Digital Media and KKR (NYSE:KKR) have reportedly made a joint bid for online TV streaming service Hulu LLC. This comes after AT&T (NYSE:T) and Chernin Group made their own bid for the company yesterday. Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) has also expressed interest in buying stake in the company.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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