US equity contracts were little changed on Wednesday as investors digested earnings reports from Caterpillar and Boeing.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell only two points, but hinted that it might gain about 15 points. Futures on the S&P 500 fell and fell slightly while the Nasdaq 100 rose marginally.
Caterpillar said it earned $2.66 per share in the third quarter, against estimates of $2.88 per share. Revenue came at $12.758 billion, while Wall Street forecast revenue of $13.572 billion. The heavy machinery maker cut its full annual earnings per share to a range of $10.59 and $11.09, less than the $11.70 forecast. However, the shares traded 0.5% higher after falling more than 6%.
Meanwhile, Boeing rose 1.5% after the aircraft maker said it would stick to the 737 Max return schedule. That was enough to make up for profits that badly missed analysts’ expectations. The company reported a profit of $1.45 per share. Analysts expect a profit of $2.09 per share.
Regardless of poor results, Caterpillar is often seen as an agent for the chip industry as it fell 8% in after the fourth quarter report was published well under market estimates.
Texas Instruments losses have pulled down the broader chipmaker’s space. The VanEck Vectors Seimconductor ETF (SMH) slipped 1.7% before closing.
Ford, Microsoft, and Tesla are among those companies that are due to report their latest quarterly figures after the market closes.
Despite the poor results from Caterpillar, the third-quarter earnings season far exceeded analysts’ expectations. Of the 118 and 500 companies reported, 81% reported better than expected results.
In Europe, lawmakers in the UK voted in favor of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan, but rejected his attempt to speed up legislation to bring the country out by the end of the month. The prime minister said the next step would be to wait for the EU to respond to a request to postpone the current deadline for Brexit on October 31.