Market Minute: Bellwether Caterpillar Posts Disappointing Profit and Sales


Caterpillar misses, and Boeing gears up for a re-launch.

The major averages last week suffered their biggest losses since last June. The Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 both fell 2.1 percent, and the Nasdaq dropped 2.7 percent.

But Barron's annual survey of money managers shows record levels of bullishness, despite ongoing concerns about the European financial crisis and Fed policy. The poll indicates the Dow could hit 16,000 by the middle of next year.

FILE - JANUARY 28: According to reports January 28, 2013, Caterpillar Inc, posted a 55 percent drop in fourth quarter profit due to charges taken from accounting fraud at a Chinese subsidiary and a high inventory due to the global economic slow down. ELMHURST, ILLINOIS - APRIL 24: Caterpillar earth moving equipment is displayed at Patten Industries on April 24, 2006 in Elmhurst, Illinois. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar reported first-quarter earnings higher than forecasted at $840 million, up 45 percent from $581 million during the same period in 2005. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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Quarterly earnings are set to dominate the action again this week, and there has to be some concern with the numbers from one bellwether company: Caterpillar's (CAT) profit and sales came in short of expectations. It also forecast that sales for the full year will be below target levels, because of slow growth in the world economy.

Hasbro's (HAS) operating net and sales both topped expectations. The company pointed to strong sales of games, as well as toys intended for girls.

After the close, we'll hear from chip-maker Texas Instruments (TXN) and from Netflix (NFLX).

Boeing (BA) is installing its re-designed battery packs on its troubled 787 Dreamliner today. It could start carrying passengers again next month after the FAA late on Friday approved the new battery system. The worldwide fleet of 787s was grounded in mid-January.

A trial starts today in a trademark infringement case against Facebook (FB). A company named Timelines sued Facebook back in 2011 after the social-networking giant introduced the timeline feature on its user pages.

General Motors (GM) says it will build four new manufacturing plants in China over the next three years. The goal is to increase production capacity to 5 million units a year.

Ameriprise Financial (AMP) is reportedly preparing a bid for the asset management unit of Lloyd's Banking of the U.K. According to the Sunday Times the bid could be valued at $1.2 billion dollars.

And Orbital Sciences (ORB) sent a rocket on its first test flight last night. The company is competing with a firm owned by Elon Musk to take cargo to the International Space Station.