CAT (-1.2%) and 3M (+0.7%) both beat earnings and revenue estimates and issued above-consensus profit guidance for 2018, but Newell Brands (-19%) is sharply lower after lowering its profit outlook.
The Caterpillar stock rose four per cent in pre-market trading before slipping 0.4 per cent in the morning session.
Earnings news may continue to attract attention on Friday, with Intel (INTC), Starbucks (SBUX), E*Trade (ETFC), and Western Digital (WDC) among the companies releasing their quarterly results after the close of today's trading.
A separate report from the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims bounced off their lowest level in almost 45 years in the week ended January 20th. Economists had expected jobless claims to climb to 240,000.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 9 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,848.
Sales of newly-constructed homes swelled in December, and a big jump in November was revised down.
After failing to sustain an early upward move stocks turned mixed over the course of the trading session on Wednesday.
The major averages ended the day on opposite sides of the unchanged line.
The Dow Jones is up over 56 points at 26,308, the S&P 500 is up 0.41 at 2,837 and the Nasdaq is up 1.18 at 7,416. While the French CAC 40 Index has climbed by 0.5 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index are up by 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.
In oil, USA crude shed 0.64% to US$65.19 a barrel. A stronger dollar can create a headwind for multinational companies doing business overseas but a firmer greenback also has been viewed as underlining a strong USA economy.
Decade-old photo of Obama with Louis Farrakhan surfaces
A spokesperson for Obama referred TPM to remarks he made in 1995 after attending the Million Man March that Farrakhan organized. He told TPM he was afraid that someone might "break into his apartment" looking for it, like "that Watergate crap".
Near term Outlook For The Medicines Company (NASDAQ:MDCO)
Chardan Capital analyst Gbola Amusa assigned a Buy rating to Medicines Co ( NASDAQ: MDCO ) today and set a price target of $85. Several other institutional investors have also sold shares of the company. 13,171 are held by Raymond James And Assocs.