Some negative economic news has pushed the markets down somewhat today, although the declines haven't been severe. Just before 12:30 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) were down 27 points to 12,423, while the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) fell one point to 1,291.
But amid the declines, some stocks were moving upward. Let's take a look at three of the biggest gainers on the Dow so far today.
Alcoa (NYSE: AA ) was the top gainer on the Dow just after noon, rising 1.8% and adding to its gains from earlier in the week. The aluminum giant has faced concerns that a global slowdown could potentially hurt its results going forward, but its shares jumped both before and after it announced fourth-quarter earnings. The company had a bright forecast, saying that it expects global demand for aluminum to jump 7% in 2012 -- growth that could go a long way toward a recovery for Alcoa's stock.
DuPont (NYSE: DD ) also rose strongly, gaining more than 1%. DuPont has seen big boosts in its revenue in recent quarters as prices for key materials such as titanium dioxide have risen. But analysts see the stock announcing a 34% year-over-year drop in earnings when it announces fourth-quarter results on Jan. 24.
Finally, Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) is on the rise, jumping about 1%. The company got a favorable mention in a New York Times article earlier this week discussing a training program that a North Carolina community college is running for Caterpillar. The program, which helped entice Caterpillar to build a $426 million factory in the area, is seen as a jobs-building positive by many, although some argue that Caterpillar unfairly benefits from state support of the school.
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