Stocks up after Bernanke news

Stocks posted small gains yesterday after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank will stick to its efforts to spur the economy. In a speech at the National Press Club, Bernanke said that the Fed expects the economy to improve this year and inflation to remain low despite the jump in commodity prices. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 3.07 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 1,307.10. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 20.29 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,062.26. The Nasdaq composite rose 4.32 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,753.88. Among the positive economic reports, the Labor Department said yesterday that fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week. A separate report showed that worker productivity in December rose by its largest amount since 2002. The Commerce Department said that factory orders rose in December, the fifth gain in six months. - AP

CPI lands deal with Sikorsky

Defense contractor CPI Aerostructures Inc., of Edgewood, has a new 5-year agreement worth up to $17.7 million to make structural assemblies and kits for Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., to be used for the S-92 civil helicopter, the company announced this week. CPI will supply 17 different components for the helicopter, including door assemblies, cover assemblies and installation kits. The items are currently produced by CPI Aero for Sikorsky "under separate purchase orders and were incorporated into this new five year contract to cover Sikorsky's anticipated requirements for these items through 2016," CPI said. - Joseph Mallia

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