Global shares fall on corporate fears, Spain boosts euro

Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:36pm EDT
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By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global stocks fell on Monday on concerns about weak corporate results and outlooks, while the euro gained as a regional election in Spain was seen as helping the country clear a hurdle for international aid to ease the euro zone debt crisis.

Most U.S. stocks slipped after heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N: Quote) slashed its 2012 forecast for the second time this year and warned that the global economy was slowing more quickly than it had expected.

Caterpillar's outlook also helped oil prices retreat.

By midday, the S&P 500 was on track for a third straight decline after the benchmark index suffered its worst one-day fall since late June on Friday. The technology-rich Nasdaq traded slightly above break-even.

Peter Kenny, a managing director at Knight Capital in Jersey City, New Jersey, said with 15 days to go until the U.S. presidential election on November 6, investors are hesitant, with the economy close to a stall and the euro zone still a concern.

"It's more of a wait-and-see. Once we have some clarity on the political front I think people are going to be more than willing to put some bets on the table," Kenny said.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 25.65 points, or 0.19 percent, at 13,317.86. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was down 2.87 points, or 0.20 percent, at 1,430.32. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was up 4.39 points, or 0.15 percent, at 3,010.02.

Shares of Caterpillar traded like a roller-coaster as the bellwether for global growth rose and fell in rocky trade. Caterpillar was last up 1.1 percent at $84.77.   Continued...

A city trader monitors stock prices in London.