All three market indices rose slightly on Monday.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI)
S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC)
Alcoa (NYS: 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 (NYS: CAT) and General Electric (NYS: 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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At the time thisarticle was published Ilan Moscovitzdoesn't own shares of any company mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.
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