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 (NYS: 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 (NYS: 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 (NYS: 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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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter here. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.
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