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Stock Indexes Rise On Cat’s Earnings Beat, But Freeport Misses Badly

U.S. stock indexes struggled Tuesday, despite earnings for Caterpillar (CAT) that checked in 32% higher than expected in the stock market today. Caterpillar’s stock gapped up about 4%.

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The Nasdaq was 0.2% lower while the S&P 500 was nearly flat and had been negative for a moment. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.2%. Small caps did better, as the Russell 2000 rose 0.7%. Indexes have been trading below the 50-day moving average.

Copper miner Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) reported quarterly results and stepped up earnings 207% vs. the year-ago quarter but that fell short of expectations. Analysts expected a 273% gain. The stock gapped down 5%.

Lockheed Martin (LMT) grew earnings 31%, topping views for a 10% gain. The stock slid about 3%.

Meanwhile, the 10-year yield topped 3% for the first time since January 2014.

Housing Reports

Housing had a busy morning for data. Homebuilder stocks have been struggling. The iShares U.S. Home Construction (ITB) exchange-traded fund is trading 17% off its Jan. 24 high.

The S&P Core Logic Case-Shiller home price index for February came in at 0.8%. Analysts expected a 0.7% gain. Data is reported on a two-month lag. Figures for April will not be available until June.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency also reported data for February. The Street expected a 0.5% advance. The report topped with a 0.6% gain.

New home sales for March beat estimates. The consensus view was for 630,000, up from 618,000 in February. The figure came in at 694,000.

The Conference Board’s consumer-sentiment gauge for April rolled in at 128.7. The Street expected 126.1, down from 127.7.

The Richmond Federal Reserve’s manufacturing index for April missed badly, coming in at minus 3. The consensus view was for a positive reading of 16.

Later this week, the durable goods orders for March will be reported before Thursday’s open. The first reading on first quarter GDP will be unrolled Friday before the open. Views call for a 2% gain, down from Q4’s 2.9% pop.

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