NEW YORK (
) -- Commodities and consumer stocks led the gains in the broader indices today, as a jump in exports offset concerns about an increase in weekly unemployment claims and stoked hopes of a broader economic recovery. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day up 69 points while the S&P 500 added 6 points.
shot up 6.2% to end the trading session at $3.90. The British Columbia based mining company said at the end of last month that it planned on selling a 25% stake in its Gibraltar copper and molybdenum mine to Japanese trading house Sojitz Corp. for about $171 million.
Alpha Natural Resources
jumped 3.5% to $39.80 after an analyst upgraded the coal operator on expectations that it is positioned to gain from rising demand in Europe.
Macquarie Equities Research analyst Curt Woodworth said as exports to key European steel customers gain momentum, he expects Alpha will shift its mix more heavily toward exports in 2010, where profitability is significantly higher than in the U.S. Steel makers use metallurgical coal in their production process.
jumped 3.2% to $13.50 even as it said that it has not yet reached an agreement on energy supplies in Italy, despite a report saying that it already had. In November Alcoa had announced the temporary closure of two aluminum smelters in Fusina and Portovesme, Italy because of uncertainty in obtaining future power supply for the smelters at competitive rates and European regulatory setback.
added 0.8% at $28.20 after
raised the stock to "overweight," citing increased demand from China, reports Bloomberg. Vale may also outperform steel producers because iron-ore prices will probably rise 20% in 2010, 30% in 2011 and 10% in 2012, Rodolfo de Angele, the JP Morgan analyst, said in a report.
lost 0.8% to $77.70 even after the company assured the public that labor strikes at its Tenke Fungurume copper-cobalt mine in the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo had not affected production.
Freeport expects steady production at its Grasberg copper and gold mine in Papua, Indonesia in 2010, but foresees gold output falling by about a fifth due to lower ore grades.
fell 0.7% to $41 after being cut to neutral from outperform by Credit Suisse this week.
-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York.
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