Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) Trying to Spark a Flatlining Dow

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is relatively unchanged despite the three economic reports released this morning. As of 1:20 p.m. EST, the Dow and the S&P 500 are both down a fraction of a point.

There were three economic releases this morning.

Report Period Result Previous
Retail sales December 0.5% 0.4%
Retail sales excluding automobiles December 0.3% (0.1%)
Producer Price Index December (0.2%) (0.8%)
Core PPI December 0.1% 0.1%
Inventories November 0.3% 0.3%

Source: MarketWatch U.S. Economic Calendar.

The first report was from the Department of Commerce, which reported that U.S. retail sales rose 0.5% in December. That’s better than November’s 0.4% rise and better than analyst expectations of a 0.2% rise. Excluding automobile sales, retail sales rose just 0.3% in December, compared with a 0.1% drop in November. That’s still better than analyst expectations of 0.2% growth.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT)The second report was from the Department of Labor, which reported that the U.S. PPI fell 0.2% in December. That’s a smaller drop than November’s -0.8% but slightly greater than analyst expectations of -0.1%. Inflation for people who don’t eat or use energy, also known as Core PPI, rose 0.1%. That’s unchanged from last month and in line with analyst expectations. Many investors are seriously worried about inflation in the future, and while there are little signs of it now, it’s something to be wary of.

The third report was another from the Department of Commerce saying that U.S. inventories rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in November. That’s unchanged from October and in line with analyst expectations.

Today’s Dow leader
Moving on to individual companies, today’s Dow leader is Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) up 0.85% on no real news. Caterpillar had a slightly volatile 2012 but finished the year down 3%. The question on many investors minds is whether Caterpillar can do better in 2013. Caterpillar is a cyclical stock whose results are largely dependent on the health of the economy. If the world economy improves, Caterpillars fortunes will improve with it. But with the coal and iron-ore industries suffering, Caterpillar’s stock will likely remain stuck in neutral for the time being.

The article 1 Stock Trying to Spark a Flatlining Dow originally appeared on Fool.com.

Dan Dzombak can be found on Twitter @DanDzombak or on his Facebook page, DanDzombak. He has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Comments
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

The 10 Largest Pharmaceutical Companies In the World

The 10 Most Expensive Android Apps

The 9 Most Expensive Designer Bags in the World

The 7 Most Expensive Real Estate in the World

The 10 Most Expensive eBay Items Ever Sold

The 10 Most Expensive iPhone Apps

The 9 Most Expensive Designer Shoes in the World

The 10 Most Expensive Cigarette Brands

The 10 Most Expensive Law Schools in the US

The 10 Best Wall Street Movies

The 10 Most Expensive Golf Clubs Ever Sold

The 10 Most Expensive Golf Memberships

The 10 Best Disney Characters Ever Created

The 8 Best Foods for Gaining Weight

The 10 Most Expensive Colleges in the World

The 7 Most Memorable Ad Campaigns of All Time

The 7 Most Expensive High Schools in the World

The 10 Electric Vehicles with the Longest Range

The 10 Cities with the Worst Drivers in the World

The 10 Most Expensive Dresses Ever Created

10 Islands to Visit Before You Die

10 Famous Celebrities Who Needed Rehab

The 15 Countries with the Largest Oil Reserves

The 10 Most Overused Excuses in the World

The 5 Best iOS Apps You Can’t Get on Android

5 Companies Damaged By Social Media Blunders

The 10 Most Legendary Blues Songs

The 10 Most Lawless Places in the World

4 Reasons China is a Threat to the US

The 17 Most Sugary Drinks in the World

The 10 Most Ruthless Rulers in History

The 10 Greatest Generals in History

Top 8 Travel Destinations for 2015

The 10 Safest Dog Breeds for Children

The 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in the US

The 7 Most Expensive Celebrity Weddings

The 10 Best LoL Teams in the World

Top 10 Worst Marketing Campaigns Ever Produced

Top 5 Diets that Help You Lose Weight

The 10 Best Ways to Stay Awake

7 Artists That Switched Musical Genres

The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in New Jersey

The 10 Best High Schools in New York

The 10 Countries With the Least Gender Inequality

The 6 Biggest Musician-Manager Feuds

The 10 Countries with the Cheapest Gas Prices

The 7 Most Theatrical Bands of All Time

The 8 Worst Band Breakups of All Time

The 10 Most Important South American Leaders

The 7 Most Successful Casting Show Winners

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!