Earnings reports show economy on rise
NEW YORK — The stock market closed narrowly mixed yesterday after a strong earnings report from Caterpillar Inc. offset investors' concerns about financial regulation.
Caterpillar, whose results are seen as an economic indicator, reported earnings that beat analyst expectations after a one-time charge related to health care. The company said economic conditions are "definitely improving," and it said orders for its heavy equipment are significantly higher than last year.
Investors also got some good news from Whirlpool Corp., which said profits doubled on higher sales of appliances in the U.S. and other countries. That's a signal that consumer spending is picking up.