All three market indices rose slightly on Monday.
|Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI )||+32.77 [+0.27%]||12,359.92|
|Nasdaq (IXIC)||+2.34 [+0.09%]||2,676.56|
|S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC )||+2.89 [+0.23%]||1,280.70|
Alcoa (NYSE: AA ) , traditionally the first Dow stock to report during earnings season, announced a small fourth-quarter loss. But what caught my eye was its announcement that it expects global demand for aluminum to increase 7% this year.
That continues the string of economic data suggesting that manufacturing demand may be remaining resilient despite the crisis in Europe. Last week saw reasonably strong December jobs figures -- 200,000 net jobs gained -- as well as upbeat sales reports from each of the "Big 3" automakers.
Alcoa's projection is good news for Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) and General Electric (NYSE: GE ) , each of which rose more than 1% to put them among today's top Dow gainers. Conglomerates, manufacturing, energy, and transportation had the biggest gains today.
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