US STOCKS-Dow, S&P hit record highs, Nasdaq erases 2016 losses
* Alcoa up after better-than-expected profit
* Seagate gains on strong preliminary results
* Indexes up: Dow 0.63 pct, S&P 0.65 pct, Nasdaq 0.73 pct (Updates to open)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
July 12 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow hit record intraday highs on Tuesday, while the Nasdaq wiped out its losses for the year, buoyed by increasing prospects of global economic health and with Alcoa getting the U.S. earnings season off to a promising start.
The S&P 500 hit 2,151.96 shortly after the open, breaking past the previous record of 2,143.16 on Monday. The Dow hit an all-time high of 18,353.76.
Alcoa reported a smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly profit, sending the aluminum producer's shares up 4.7 percent and helping boost optimism about the earnings season.
Investors appetite for equities has increased after strong economic data and low returns on government bonds, while easing political tensions in Britain and Japan have reduced some global uncertainties.
Though treasury yields are hovering at record lows, making equities more attractive, they stand to gain as central banks globally, led by Japan and Britain, chart out new stimulus measures. Continuación...