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Futures Higher After String of Heavy Declines
11 Apr 2012 EDT - CNBC.com
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U.S. stock index futures were higher Wednesday following five consecutive days of declines and after Alcoa kicked off the earnings season on an upbeat note.

Alcoa rallied after the aluminum giant topped earnings and revenue estimates. Analysts had been expecting the Dow component to report a miss.

Stocks posted their steepest one-day decline this year in the previous session with the Nasdaq falling 1.83 percent, the S&P 500 losing 1.71 percent and the Dow erasing 1.65 percent.

On the economic front, import prices rose 1.3 percent March, logging its biggest gain in nearly a year, according to the Labor Department. Economists polled by Reuters had expected import prices to rise 0.8 percent last month. February's data was revised to show a 0.1 percent decline instead of the previously reported 0.4 percent increase.

Banks were higher after a handful of upgrades. BofA gained after Guggenheim boosted its rating on the financial giant to "buy" from "neutral." Morgan Stanley also climbed after Evercore Partners raised its price target on the firm to $20.

Among techs, Apple edged higher after Sterne Agee raised its price target on the iPad maker to to $750 from $740. Apple's market cap briefly topped the $600 billion threshold on Tuesday.

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