Caterpillar, 3M lift Dow to fresh record

By Leia Klingel Markets FOXBusiness

Specialist trader Michael Pistillo Jr. wears a Dow 23,000 hat, after the Dow briefly traded above 23,000, at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., October 17, 2017. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average zoomed to another record of 22,441.76 on Tuesday, pushed higher by positive earnings from components 3M (MMM) and Caterpillar (CAT). This week is among the busiest for earnings with over 200 companies reporting results. 

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Both companies’ shares hit fresh highs as a result of their latest, positive quarterly results, and the forecasts were as good or better. 

Equipment manufacturer Caterpillar is now expecting its full-year revenue will come in at $44 billion, at the top end of its prior guidance for $42 billion to $44 billion, while the company sees full year earnings at $6.25 per share, up significantly from its prior forecast for $5 per share. This followed per-share profits of $1.95 in the quarter, above the average analyst estimate of $1.27 per share according to Thomson Reuters. Total revenue rose to $11.41 billion, topping expectations for $10.65 billion.

Same story for industrial giant 3M, the company hiked its full-year guidance for sales growth of 4% to 5% from the prior 3% to 5%. Earnings per share expectations were increased to $9.00 to $9.10 from $8.80 to $9.05. As for the current quarter, it had adjusted diluted earnings per share of $2.33 versus $2.15 in the same quarter last year. Revenue grew to $8.17 billion from $7.71 billion in the comparable quarter. 

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Shares of Dow component General Electric (GE) were lower again on Tuesday by nearly 2%, after it lost over 6% Monday, the biggest one-day percentage decline since August 2011. While the stock is under pressure, when it comes to the Dow, its losses are being masked by the big gains in other Dow component companies.

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As U.S. stocks continued their record run, gold was one of the casualties. The commodity, a common investment in times of political and economic uncertainty, slipped to $1,275 per ounce, a two week low, according to FactSet data.

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For the year, the Dow has gained more than 18%, the S&P 500 nearly 15% and the Nasdaq Composite over 22%.