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US stocks stumble on CAT forecast, housing data

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US stocks moved lower Monday after a mixed report on housing sales and Caterpillar forecast slow growth.

An hour into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 61.36 (0.42 percent) to 14,486.15.

The broad-based S&P 500 gave up 4.91 (0.32 percent) to 1,550.34, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 3.19 (0.10 percent) to 3,202.87.

Monday's losses came after the Nation Association of Realtors reported that US existing-home sales declined in March by 0.6 percent from February.

Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar added 0.8 percent despite slashing its profit forecast on a weak outlook for the global mining sector.

The company reported net income for the first quarter at $880 million, down 45.4 percent from the year-ago period. Revenues also fell sharply, dropping 17.3 percent to $13.2 billion.

"What's happening in our business and in the economy overall is a mixed picture," said chief executive Doug Oberhelman. "Conditions in the world economy seem relatively stable, and we continue to expect slow growth in 2013."

Oil services giant Halliburton added 3.3 percent after reporting better-than-expected revenues and profits, though setting aside some $637 million for costs related to the BP-Deepwater Horizon spill meant it turned in a net loss for the quarter of $18 million.

Microsoft, which impressed markets last week with its earnings report, jumped 3.5 percent.

Power-One, which manufactures power supply products for renewable energy and telecommunications systems was up 56.7 percent after Swiss energy giant for $1 billion.

General Electric, which retreated Friday on disappointing earnings, slipped 2.3 percent after JPMorgan Chase downgraded the company.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped to 1.69 percent from 1.70 percent Friday, while the 30-year slipped to 2.87 percent from 2.88 percent. Bond prices move inversely to yields.

jmb/pmh

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130422/us-stocks-stumble-cat-forecast-housing-data