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Alcoa's Surprise Profit Lifts Markets

Alcoa's upbeat earnings report lifted the markets to a sharply higher open with the Dow surging 121 points to 12,837. Nasdaq climbed 37 points to 3029.

On the upside

Alcoa (NYSE: AA) reported an unexpected profit for the first quarter.

Reuters reported that Travelzoo (Nasdaq: TZOO) was exploring the possible sale of the company.

Owens-Illinois (NYSE: OI) expects first quarter earnings to rise to top analyst estimates.

On the downside

Nokia (NYSE: NOK) warned that first quarter margins will be lower than expected.

VMware (NYSE: VMW) announced the departure of chief financial officer and co-president of business operations Mark Peek on June 1, 2012.

William Blair reported that F5 Networks (Nasdaq: FFIV) was aggressively pushing to close deals last quarter.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 10 points to 794.

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