Stocks Opened Up on Corporate Forecast

U.S. stocks began higher on Wednesday after a three-day losing stretch as Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) and Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) hiked their outlooks. The Dow Jones Industrial Averag lately added 53.62 points to 12,670.94. The S&P 500 added 1.22 points to 1,339.53. The Nasdaq Composite was off 1.50 points to 2,861.49.

Caterpillar Inc (CAT), the world’s largest maker of construction equipment, raised its 2012 profit forecast on Wednesday and said that despite pockets of weakness, the global economy was improving.The company reported a second- quarter profit of $1.67 billion, or $2.54 per share, compared with $1.02 billion, or $1.52 per share, a year earlier.The company now expects to earn $9.60 per share in 2012, up from a previous forecast of $9.50.

Boeing Co.’s (NYSE:BA) second-quarter income rose 2.8% as the aerospace giant saw a continued rebound in its commercial airplane business, while its defense operations flagged. Boeing reported a profit of $967 million, or $1.27 a share, up from $941 million, or $1.25 a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 21% to $20.01 billion.  The company raised its per-share earnings estimate for the year, now seeing $4.40 to $4.60 a share, from its previous view of $4.15 and $4.35. Boeing also upped its revenue guidance by $1.5 billion, forecasting $79.5 billion to $81.5 billion.

Plummeting sales in Europe — and no hope for a quick fix in the troubled region — hurt Ford’s second-quarter profit and forced the company to lower its full-year earnings forecast. Ford earned $1 billion, or 26 cents per share, in the quarter, down 57 percent from $2.4 billion, or 59 cents, a year earlier.

PepsiCo Inc. says its profit fell 21 percent in the second quarter as one-time restructuring costs and a stronger dollar ate into results. PepsiCo said it earned $1.48 billion, or 94 cents per share. That’s down from $1.89 billion, or $1.17 per share, in the same period last year.

Apple Inc’s disappointing China sales suggest that its customers will not always wait for the next iPhone when rivals such as Samsung have plenty of flashy new models available now, analysts and resellers said on Wednesday.

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