Stocks rise early on first day of earnings season

Stocks are edging higher in early trading as traders look ahead to Alcoa Inc.’s fourth-quarter results, the unofficial start of corporate earnings season.

Alcoa will release its financial results after the market closes on Monday. The aluminum company is considered an economic bellwether because a broad range of companies that use its products.

In Europe, leaders of France and Germany are meeting hammer out details of a fiscal treaty they agreed to pursue last year. The treaty is intended to ease Europe’s two-year-old debt crisis.

The Dow is up 11 points, or 0.1 percent at 12,370 shortly after the open. The S&P 500 is up 1, or 0.1 percent, at 1,278. The Nasdaq composite index is up 6, or 0.2 percent, at 2,680.