NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -07/04/12)- Stock markets rallied Tuesday after recent data showed factory orders in May increased for the first time in three months. The slight increase in factory orders came as a positive sign after a trade group earlier this week reported U.S. manufacturing in June contracted for the first time since the great recession ended. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the S&P 500 Index and provides equity research on Alcoa Inc. (AA) and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT).
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The S&P 500 Index reached a two-month high Tuesday on the positive factory data and speculation that central banks around the globe will take action to help stimulate economic growth. To help with the region's debt crisis the European Central Bank is forecasted to cut interest rates later this week. According to Bloomberg Global Banking Group, BNP Paribas SA has stated that weak U.S. jobs data later this week may motivate the Federal Reserve to launch new stimulus measures.
"The factory orders report was a good surprise," said Richard Sichel, chief investment officer at Philadelphia Trust Co., in a recent telephone interview. "Investors are also finding comfort in central bank action. The Fed has anticipated that they will do whatever it takes to not let the economy slip, China is doing the same and that the Europeans seem to be doing that too."
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Alcoa recently announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its 351-megawatt Tapoco Hydroelectric Project to Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners. The company will hold a conference call on Monday, July 9, 2012 beginning at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) to discuss second quarter 2012 results and business developments. Shares of Alcoa jumped 3.19 percent on Tuesday.
Caterpillar recently signed agreements with Westport Innovations Inc. to co-develop natural gas technology for off-road equipment, including mining trucks and locomotives. Caterpillar and Westport will combine technologies and expertise, including Westport High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI) technology and Caterpillar's industry leading off-road engine and machine product technology, to develop the natural gas fuel system.
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