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Stocks mixed as Caterpillar outlook dims

October 22, 2012
  • Trader John Panin works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Trader John Panin works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (Richard Drew / Associated…)

Following Friday's broad sell-off, stocks opened mixed on Monday as corporate earnings fell short of what analysts had forecast for what was already expected to be a disappointing quarter.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down six points, basically flat at 13,338, shortly after the opening bell on Wall Street. The Dow fell 205 points Friday.

The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index was flat at 1,433, after opening in the negative. The Nasdaq gained nine points, or 0.3%, to 3,014.

Investors had mixed news from Caterpillar Inc., the construction and mining equipment manufacturing giant.

Caterpillar beat expectations when it reported earning $1.7 billion, or $2.54 a share, in the third quarter -- up 49% from $1.1 billion, or $1.71, the same period a year ago. Third-quarter profits were boosted by a realized gain of $273 million related to a sale.

But Caterpillar also lowered its profit outlook due to slowing economic growth worldwide.

"The decline in the sales and revenues outlook reflects global economic conditions that are weaker than we had previously expected," the company said in a statement.

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