Stocks Lifted by Alcoa Outlook

Stocks jumped early on Tuesday after a bullish Alcoa forecast boosted the outlook for the commodities sector, signaling a stronger global economy. The Dow Jones industrial average lately was up 108.57 points, or 0.88 percent, at 12,501.26. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 14.00 points, or 1.09 percent, at 1,294.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 31.80 points, or 1.19 percent, at 2,708.36.

Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA), the largest U.S. aluminum producer, reported loss in its fourth-quarter 2011 results, but it posted a bright outlook for 2012. Alcoa posted a loss from continuing operations of $193 million, or 18 cents per share compared with a profit of $172 million, or 15 cents per share in the same quarter of 2010.For 2012, Alcoa expects global aluminum demand to grow 7% due to the global deficit in primary aluminum supply.

Analysts expect the European Central Bank to make no changes to its monetary policies at its monthly interest-rate meeting. The ECB has cut rates the last two months. Most analysts now expect a pause at Thursday’s meeting — though the bank has delivered several surprises under new President Mario Draghi.

Struggling Kodak is seeking to simplify its structure and cut costs by reducing the number of its business segments from three to two. Kodak said Tuesday that it now has a commercial and a consumer segment. Both units will report to the new chief operating office, which will be led by COO and President Philip Faraci and by Laura Quatela, who was also recently named as president and COO.

Oil prices rose to nearly $103 a barrel Tuesday amid concerns about tensions between the West and Iran.By midday in Europe, benchmark crude for February delivery was up $1.54 to $102.85 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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