World Week Ahead: US earnings season starts

BUSINESSDESK: Wall Street dropped on disappointment with Friday's non-farm payrolls report and investors are looking to the start of the first-quarter earnings season for fresh clues.

Financial markets were closed on Friday for the Easter holiday when a report showed that the US added 120,000 jobs in March, which was short of expectations for an increase of 203,000.

Just like last week, this week is a short one for Europe as financial markets were closed on Monday for the Easter holiday.

Wall Street, however, was open today.

In early afternoon trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.82%, while the Standard & Poor's 500 dropped 1.10% and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.96%.

After a stellar first quarter, the second quarter has got off to a rough start.

The S&P 500 shed 0.7% in the four days of trading last week, while the Dow and the Nasdaq dropped 1.2% and 0.4%, respectively, in the same period.

By comparison, both the Dow and the S&P 500 posted their best first quarters since 1998 in the first three months of 2012, while the Nasdaq had its best since 1991.

Investors will look to earnings for indications on whether recent, and further, gains are justified.

Alcoa is set to release results after the market closes early tomorrow.

Other companies due to report this week include Google, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

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