All three market indices rose slightly on Monday.



Ending Value

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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