Star stock of the first quarter: Alcoa
Alcoa, which has a fabricated aluminum products plant in Danville, was a standout performer among stocks of local interest in the first quarter of 2014.
Its stock, which sold for $10.63 a share at the end of 2013, closed at $12.87 a share last Monday to finish out the quarter with a 21 percent gain.
The general stock market didn't fare nearly as well. After a dip in late January, the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 major stocks rebounded, but still finished down 0.7 percent for the quarter. A broader market index, the Standard & Poor's 500, was up 1.3 percent.
Alcoa has been on a roll since Oct. 3, when it sold for $7.86 a share. By March 31, the stock price had risen 63.7 percent.
One factor propelling the aluminum manufacturer: the relative health of airlines, which are enjoying high-flying stock prices. American Airlines Group stock was up 45 percent for the quarter; Delta Air Lines was up 26 percent; and Southwest Airlines was up 25 percent.
Other standout performances by stocks of local interest included: Exelon Corp., owner of the Clinton nuclear plant, up 22.5 percent in the first quarter, and Cabot Corp., which has a fumed silica plant west of Tuscola, up 15 percent.