Earnings season kicks off today. Despite a few better-than-expected early reports, Wall Street appears to be putting its two-day rally on pause while more earnings reports are awaited.

Alcoa Aluminum (NYSE: AA) is the first of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average to report earnings after the bell. Meanwhile, Costco (Nasdaq: COST) reported that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell 6%, but it exceeded expectations. The retailer blamed a stronger dollar and the rising cost of providing benefits to employees. Family Dollar (NYSE: FDO) also reported that its profits rose 13%, beating expectations.

Family Dollar’s report underscores the weakness in consumer spending and shows that shoppers are still looking for value when they buy. (Read more about consumer staples here).

Gold is continuing to soar to new records, reaching $1,048.25 an ounce, reports Matthew Walls for The Wall Street Journal. Traders believe that gold could easily surpass $1,050 and even hit $1,100 an ounce. SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) is trading flat so far this morning. (For more stories about gold ETFs, visit our gold category).

There’s speculation that Congress isn’t going to extend a tax credit for first-time homebuyers, which is sending homebuilder and real estate ETFs lower. The deadline for the program to end is Dec. 1. (For more stories on the real estate sector, visit our category).

Consumer credit fell 7.5% in August, the seventh consecutive decline, reports the Associated Press. The report covers credit cards, auto loans and other revolving credit. Excluded from the report are mortgages and other debt secured by real estate.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.