Stocks climbed Wednesday, ending a choppy session higher after the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady and hinted it would continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, Apple introduced its new iPad tablet computer.
The maker of big machinery soared as construction boomed and commodity prices skyrocketed, boosting mining and oil drilling. When the economy tanked, Caterpillar saw sales slump, leading to workforce and production cuts.
Stocks finished higher Tuesday -- with the Dow industrials ending at a 6-month high -- after a volatile session in which investors weighed better-than-expected corporate earnings with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's warning that the economic recovery would be slow.
With 60% of its business outside North America, Caterpillar's geographic diversity helped the world's biggest heavy equipment maker withstand the U.S. economic slowdown - until it spread worldwide. <P>The company hasn't reported a quarterly loss since 1992, but the drop-off in infrastructure projects everywhere has put a pause on Cat's stunning growth. To trim costs, the company announced in January it was cutting 20,000 jobs, or 11% of its workforce. - <I>J.Y.</I>
President Obama took his economic stimulus proposal back on the road Thursday, urging final congressional passage of the now-$789 billion bill during a visit to a Caterpillar plant in the state that launched his political career.
U.S. industrial conglomerate Ingersoll-Rand said it would sell its Bobcat machinery business and two other units to Doosan Infracore for $4.9 billion cash, the biggest ever overseas acquisition by a South Korean firm.
Caterpillar Inc, a manufacturer of heavy construction and mining equipment, said Friday its quarterly earnings fell more than expected due to lower sales of diesel truck engines, weakness in North American construction markets, and higher production costs.
A federal judge in Tennessee has granted class-action status to a 2006 case against heavy construction vehicle maker Caterpillar Inc. regarding insurance benefits, the lead attorney representing more than 4,000 retirees and surviving spouses said Friday.