Stocks in the news: Alcoa, Costco, AIG

The following post rounds up the companies making headlines today:

Alcoa (AA) kicked off second quarter earnings season late Wednesday, reporting a lighter than expected loss of $454 million and noting some stability. Alcoa shares, which have been heavily pounded ahead of the earnings to test the $9 level on Monday, gained about 4.5% in pre-market trading at $9.90 per share.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) this morning reported that same-store sales dropped 6 percent in June, in line with expectations, because of lower demand, but mainly because of gasoline-price declines and fluctuations in exchange rates. Without those impacts, sales would have been down 1 percent in the U.S., and increase 8 percent internationally. Shares gained nearly a percent ahead of the bell.