The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended a volatile week last Friday, ending the week close to flat on October 8. The benchmark slipped 8.69 points, or less than 0.1%, to 34746.25. The market volatility is being driven primarily by rising…
inflation concerns and Congressional negotiations on the U.S. debt ceiling. In addition, U.S. consumer confidence fell to a seven-month low in September, owing to rising COVID-19 cases that threaten the global economic recovery.
A much-awaited infrastructure bill is expected to boost the U.S economy and benefit the industrial sector. However, the U.S. House of Representative delayed its planned vote on the bipartisan bill as democrats failed to come to an agreement.
Given the market volatility and delays in eagerly anticipated government spending, we think fundamentally weak Dow Jones stocks Caterpillar Inc. (CAT – Get Rating) and 3M Company (MMM – Get Rating), which declined by more than 10% in price in the third quarter, are best avoided now.
CAT manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide. The company is headquartered in Peoria, Ill.
On September 10, CAT acquired Enhanced Energy Group, Inc., a U.S.-based carbon capture technology company. Also, earlier, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation (CVX) and CAT formed a collaboration to develop hydrogen demonstration projects in transportation and stationary power applications, including prime power. However, these initiatives might take a while to contribute significantly to the CAT’s sustainability targets.
CAT’s total sales and revenues increased 28.9% year-over-year to $12.89 billion in its fiscal second quarter, ended June 30. However, its total operating costs stood at $11.10 billion, up 20.5% from the same period last year. Its cost of goods sold increased 24.9% year-over-year to $8.88 billion. Also, for the six months ended June 30, its net cash used for investing activities increased 131.1% from its year-ago value to $1.72 billion. CAT slumped 10.8% in price in the third quarter.
MMM develops, manufactures, and markets various products worldwide. The St. Paul, Minn.-based company operates through four business segments: Safety and Industrial; Transportation and Electronics; and Health Care, and Consumer.
MMM’s net sales increased 24.7% year-over-year to $8.95 billion in its fiscal second quarter ended June 30. However, its cost of sales grew 24% from its year-ago value to $4.72 billion, while its total operating expenses increased 28.4% year-over-year to $6.98 billion. In addition, for the six months ended June 30, its net cash used in financing activities and net cash used in investing activities…
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