The stock markets in the United States traded lower today as investors monitor corporate earnings with a focus on guidance for next year. The earnings reports of corporations today was mixed, but the financial performance delivered by Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT) stood out as the world’s largest equipment maker and reduced its full year 2013 guidance.

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Edward Painvin, chief investment officer at Chase Investment Counsel Corp. told Bloomberg, “The market has run quite a bit. Every time you have that kind of move going into earnings season, expectations are high. The market is going to be placing an increasing amount of emphasis on companies delivering expectations and providing some clarity for 2014.”

Yesterday, the Department of Labor reported a weak employment data, which strengthened the conviction of many investors that the Federal Reserve will maintain its $85 billion bond-buying program.

Scott Wren, senior equity strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors opined that the Federal Reserve will unlikely taper its quantitative easing until the first few months of 2014. Wren wrote, “Thanks to some overly enthusiastic economic projections that look more and more out of line with reality and a dysfunctional Congress that caused a very partial short-term government shutdown.”

On the other hand, Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve said that the stock prices are actually relatively low and the stock market momentum is moving upward during an interview with Bloomberg.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 15, 413.26 (-0.35%)
  • S&P 500- 1,746.35 (-0.35%)
  • NASDAQ- 3,907.07 (-0.57%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,11.12 (-0.40%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,017.16 (-0.94%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,674.48 (-0.32%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 8,919.86 (-0.31%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,426.05 (-1.95%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,999.95 (-1.36%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2, 418.49 (-1.12%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Altera Corporation (NASDAQ:ALTR) declined by more than 13% to $32.30 per share after the company’s financial results, and issued a lower revenue guidance for the fourth quarter. The company reported $445.9 million sales and $0.37 diluted earnings per share, down by 10% and 24% year-over-year, respectively.

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) climbed more than 5% to $129.02 per share after the company posted strong third quarter financial results and increased its full-year guidance. The company also announced that it will speed up its production for its 787 Dreamliner jets.  The company’s third quarter earnings increased by 12% to $1.51 per share and revenue rose by 11% to $22.13 billion. For the full year 2013, Boeing expects to achieve earnings in the range of $6.50 to $6.65 per share, up from its previous outlook of $6.20 to $6.40 per share.

The stock value of Corning, Inc (NYSE:GLW) gained more than 14% to $17.52 per share after announcing its decision to acquire 43% stake in a joint venture, Samsung Corning Precision Materials Co. The company also issued a preliminary earnings report for the third quarter indicating revenue of $2.1 billion and $0.33 earnings per share.

Meanwhile, Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE:NSC) surged 6.77% to $86.06 per share after reporting better-than-expected financial results. The company posted $482 million net income or $1.53 diluted earnings per share and $2.8 billion railway operating revenue.