US stocks are mixed on global worries ahead of the unofficial start of first quarter earnings season.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 3.63 points, or 0.03 percent, to trade at 12,383.68 at 1:36 p.m. EST. The S&P 500 Index is down 2.77 points, or 0.21 percent, to trade at 1,325.40. The Nasdaq Composite is down 0.38 percent.
Alcoa (NYSE:AA) is set to report earnings after the market closes, thereby unofficially kicking off the first quarter earnings season. Its shares are currently down 1 percent, signaling that the market is expecting somewhat disappointing results.
The broader market is mixed due to ongoing worries about oil prices, which, at WTI $110 per barrel, is approaching levels that will negatively affect global growth. Oil prices remain elevated due to the ongoing conflict in Libya and uncertainties in other parts of the Middle East and North Africa.
The IMF also released a report that forecast the global economic growth rate to slow to 4.4 percent in 2011 from 5.0 percent in 2010. For the US, 2011 growth is expected to be 2.8 percent.
The IMF cited rising commodities prices as a risk to global economic growth and the budget deficit as a risk to US growth.