Dow Jones falls nearly 425 points; Caterpillar reports earnings plateau

By Daniel Uria  |  April 24, 2018 at 5:02 PM
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April 24 (UPI) -- The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 400 points on Tuesday amid fears of rising interest rates and Caterpillar hinting at a halt in economic growth.

The index fell a total of 424.56 points or 1.74 percent by closing to 24,024.13, dropping a total of 751.21 points from its session high following a 131-point increase to open trading.

The S&P 500 index fell 1.3 percent, while falling Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet and Netflix shares caused the Nasdaq composite to drop 1.7 percent.

Construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, a barometer for the state of the economy and the stock market, saw a stock increase after reporting earnings and revenue that surpassed market expectations.

Later in the day Caterpillar stock fell 6.2 percent after Chief Financial Officer Bradley Halverson said the company's first quarter would be "the high-water mark for the year" during a conference call.

Mining and manufacturing company 3M, another Dow indicator, saw its stock drop 7 percent after lowering its full-year profit forecast.

Google Parent company Alphabet's stock fell 5 percent despite reporting a $9.4 billion first-quarter increase in net profit on Monday.

Investors have also been selling Treasurys this month in fear of rising inflation, pushing the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note above 3 percent for the first time in four years on Tuesday morning.

The rising bond rate could cause the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy more quickly and make it more expensive to borrow money for mortgages and auto loans, detracting from profit for major U.S. companies.

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