Wall Street Watch: Alcoa Earnings Surprise, Best Buy’s Downward Spiral

The highly anticipated Alcoa (NYSE:AA) first quarter earnings surprised Wall Street with its $0.10 earnings per share profit while net income dropped from the previous year. Revenue beat expectations with a $6.01 billion increase amid slumping aluminum prices. Alcoa was upbeat about China and its “pretty phenomenal” global demand forecast of 7 percent. Here’s you Cheat Sheet to Alcoa Inc. Earnings: Drop in Profit, but Beating Estimates >>

Tuesday’s sudden resignation from Best Buy’s (NYSE:BBY) CEO Brian Dunn resulted from a “personal misconduct” investigation. The company didn’t provide any details but said in a statement, “Certain issues were brought to the board’s attention regarding Mr. Dunn’s personal conduct, unrelated to the company’s operations or financial controls, and an audit committee investigation was initiated. Prior to the completion of the investigation, Mr. Dunn chose to resign.” Best Buy’s stock dropped six percent and closed at $21.32.

Now, Let’s Face It: Amazon Ate Best Buy’s Lunch >>

At Germany’s 10-year Bund auction, weak demand only moved EUR 3.87 billion of paper, coming in below its EUR 5 billion target. With a 1.77 percent priced to yield, this represented a record low for the auction but above the current trading yield of 1.64 percent for the Bund in Tuesday’s trading.

Over in Italy, yields rose in the auction of EUR 11 billion for12 and three-month paper as Spain’s budget woes affected weak countries. Yields for Italian 10-year paper in the secondary market dove, dropping 15 basis points to 5.54 percent in premarket trading while Spanish paper was -13 basis points at 5.85 percent after remarks by ECB’s Benoit Coeure suggested the return of bond purchases.

Earthquakes with magnitudes of 8.7 and 8.8 off the coast of Aceh hit Indonesia and prompted a tsunami warning across the Indian Ocean. Tremors had been felt in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and India. The event quickly brought back memories of the 2004 tsunami in the area that came from a 9.1 earthquake.