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Cat Stock Blog

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) stock news and links

Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

Prototype for a single-stock corporate/financial blog

Cat Stock Blog represents a two-month experiment to test the prospects of a blog devoted to the stock of a single large corporation.

I chose Caterpillar Inc. because it’s based in my hometown and I have many visceral personal connections to the company and its fate. I reasoned that a blog about Caterpillar could attract a large audience among everybody who has a common interest in the company — employees, competitors, suppliers, customers — and that it’s stock represented a) the one thing in which all parties shared a common interest; and b) a score card of how the company was doing in the marketplace

As fate would have it, other more attractive opportunities made it impossible for me to devote the energy required to develop Cat Stock Blog to its full potential. But I think the idea would work well with any large corporation, particularly one based in Silicon Valley (A Cisco stock blog would be an instant hit, I suspect, with its universe of plugged-in techies who must be tired of Apple and HP getting all the attention).

Thanks to all who joined in the fun and remember: those of a true party spirit always find a way to keep the festivities alive when the host calls “lights out.”

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Tom Mangan posted at 9:38 pm March 1st, 2009 |

January recap: It was ugly out there

Financial blogger Alan Brochstein surveys the wreckage of the worst January on record and notes the following:

Industrials were weakest for large-cap, and that reflects GE, CAT and other large industrials with captive finance programs and lots of debt. I continue to think that this is one of the worst places to be and would recommend holding only companies with minimal or no debt. The group tends to sell capital equipment, which will be deferred, and it is being hit by currency headwinds, dropping global demand and tight credit all at once.

He thinks health care and utilities stocks hold much more promise.

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Tom Mangan posted at 6:36 am February 2nd, 2009 |

Today’s close: down 5.87%

Cat's close, 1-22-09CNH’s lousy earnings report rained redness on everybody in the construction sector Thursday. Caterpillar got spanked pretty hard in the early going but rebounded a bit as the day wore on. News that Microsoft planned to lay off 5,000 didn’t help the mood much, either. Full quote at Yahoo Finance.

The major indexes weren’t nearly as bruised: Dow, down 1.28%; Nasdaq, down 2.76%; S&P, down 1.52%. Closing wrap-up at Market Watch.

Nothing good to say about Cat’s volume today (unless you’re short): At 19 million shares, it’s way, way over the average of 11 million — about 80 percent above normal. Not what bulls want to see on a big down day.

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Tom Mangan posted at 1:24 pm January 22nd, 2009 |

Must read financial blog: Trader Mike

Trader Mike was one of the pioneer financial bloggers. He earns a living by day trading but his blog has become so popular he can afford to take month-long breaks these days. His Christmas break is over so he’s back to posting essential write-ups on what the charts are telling him.

Much of what I know about technical analysis, I learned from Mike’s blog. He knows tons more — and has his own computerized trading system designed to tell when to get in and when to get out. His blog may often offer more than casual investors need to know, I suppose, but I’ve found it invaluable.

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Tom Mangan posted at 11:16 am January 22nd, 2009 |

Banned for Life: “Cat’s Meow”

I created my first blog in 1996 — Banned for Life, devoted to removing annoying cliches from the rhetorical toolboxes of the nation’s newspeople. One of my motivations: Every time CNN or ABC News or the New York Times parachuted one of their star journalists into my hometown, there’d always be a grating reference to how things are “playing in Peoria.” I just wanted to smack ’em.

I thought of Banned for Life when I happened upon this list of headlines on Caterpillar-related stories at Not one but two “Cat’s Meow” headlines in the past six months. Ugh. You kids got a month to put the magazine out and that’s the best you can come up with? Even at the daily fish-wrap factory where I work, we check the archives to see how many times our attempts at cleverness have been published before.

OK, I’ll get back to blogging about tractors now. Just had to get this one out of my system. I hate cliches with the fires of a thousand suns.

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Tom Mangan posted at 9:46 am January 19th, 2009 |

Fascinating debate on speculation in oil

Barry Ritholtz, king of the finance bloggers, dismantles a “60 Minutes” report blaming oil speculators for the fantastic run-up in oil prices last year. His contention: The CBS News newsies left out a host of other factors implicated in the oil run-up.

What set the journalism hounds on the trail of this story was the obvious disconnect last year between prices and demand: Prices were going through the stratosphere while demand was falling off. I concluded it was plainly a bubble caused by too much money chasing too rare a commodity: not necessarily physical oil, but the oil futures contracts by which all oil is purchased.

Plainly this is speculation, but the traders responding to Ritholtz’s comments insist that individual speculators are a) not truly to blame because no individual trader can move markets; b) performing a vital market function in helping establish prices; and c) doing society some good by causing consumers of oil to burn less, which is good for the planet. Another interesting contention: if evil speculators were manipulating markets for their own gain, how did the prices ever correct and return to earth?

Check out the “60 Minutes” report and decide for yourself.

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Tom Mangan posted at 7:41 am January 14th, 2009 |

Yes, I’m really taking today off

What I’m not doing is making any predictions for ’09. If I knew where Cat’s stock was going, I wouldn’t have time to blog about it (nor would I provide such info for free). But anyway, Big Picture blog highlights the worst predictions of 2008, perhaps as a cautionary link to those with the predictive urge.

(Link via Brett Steenbarger)

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Tom Mangan posted at 8:48 am January 1st, 2009 |

Blog for Peoria politics, economy

Peoria Pundit, aka Bill Dennis, writes more about Peoria’s politics than anything else, but most major Caterpillar doings get some coverage. I have no idea who put this idea into his head, but today he put a call out, offering to host Cat-related blogs.

Of course, any insiders who want to blog what goes on the shop floor or behind closed doors at Caterpillar World Headquarters would have to be anonymous. And I would be happy to help, perhaps with a group blog focusing on Big Yellow.

I’m sure the Yellow Father would welcome the scrutiny.

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Tom Mangan posted at 12:14 pm December 26th, 2008 |

New Twitter feed for Cat Stock Blog

I’ve added a news feed from to post quickie headlines about cool stuff not directly related to Caterpillar and its stock performance.

Most folks use Twitter to announce their new choice of underarm deodorant or complain about their rectal itch flare-ups, but a crucial minority use it to share headlines and quick observations of news events in real time. When news breaks, Twitter posts start showing up almost immediately: Journalists are already learning to just check Twitter first to find out what’s going on in the world.

Stock market bloggers are using Twitter too. My favorite example is Brett Steenbarger, who typically writes one post a day about the psychology of trading, but uses Twitter to post market stats on trends as they arise.

Paul Kedrosky’s Infectious Greed is another popular blog among techies who follow the markets. His Twitter feed is always interesting.

There are tons of Twitter tools to help you learn the ropes. One of the handiest is Twitter Search.

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Tom Mangan posted at 8:12 am December 26th, 2008 |

Oil and commodities profile

The Energy Report has a great interview with Roger Wiegand, editor of Trader Tracks, on what’s happening in petroleum. One factoid buried deep down that I had never seen before:

Now, here’s something about oil that a lot of people don’t understand. We have been focused on Saudi Arabia and the Middle East as our top U.S. oil supplier. They are no longer the largest oil producer for America. The top supplier of crude oil to the United States is Canada.

Who knew? Also, Mexico’s biggest oil field is about to run dry; bad news for the government, which relies heavily on the revenue from this field. Read the whole thing, it’s full of juicy details about where commodities are going in the next few quarters.

Roger Wiegand usually charges a pretty penny for his expertise, so it’s nice get a freebie.

Incidentally, the Energy Report looks like a solid bookmark for energy-industry watchers. I also like the “Uranium Directory“; sounds like the name of somebody’s punk rock band.

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Tom Mangan posted at 9:09 am December 23rd, 2008 |