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Caterpillar: Not Much to Dig; Nikkei Spikes on G20; Cruise Controls Box Office

Hot Stock Minute

Traders not likely to dig Caterpillar's (CAT) earnings report, released just a short time ago. The company missed estimates by a wide margin, posting profits of $1.31 a share compared to estimates of $1.40 a share. Revenues were also down by about $500 million.

Japan's monetary plan now has the yen worth roughly the same amount as the penny. At one point today, the dollar hit 99.89 yen, just below a four year peak. It happened shortly after the G20 accepted Japan's new stimulus policies. The group said it would be quote "mindful" of possible side effects from extended periods of monetary stimulus, but signaled that reflation of Japan's economy is necessary for the global economy.

Two billionaires known for making headlines could soon play a large part in determining the news. The New York Times reports Charles and David Koch are weighing a bid to buy Tribune's newspapers. The Koch brothers are known for backing a number of libertarian causes. No word on just how much Tribune would want for the papers, but the Times says the company is looking to sell them as a group. Rupert Murdoch has previously expressed interest in the largest of the publications, the L.A. Times.

If you've got an eBay (EBAY) account, check your email for a message from the company CEO John Donahoe. He's begun emailing 40-million users, asking them to join the fight against an internet sales tax. The Senate is due to vote on a proposal in the coming days. It would give states the power to compel retailers outside their borders to collect online sales tax. Doing so could do away with a large advantage enjoyed by online sellers.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Netflix (NFLX) reports earnings after the closing bell. Analysts are expecting earnings of 18-cents a share, compared with a loss of 8-cents a year ago. Consensus is for revenue to top $1-billion, up about 17% from a year ago. Key here could be the success of "House of Cards," the company's biggest original series to date. It cost more than $100-million to produce. But creating new shows is a way around relying on expensive licensing deals. Netflix stock is up 140% in the past 6-months, and almost 80% year-to-date.

Next up is Six Flags (SIX) which is reporting earnings this morning. Of note here, its competitor SeaWorld (SEAS) went public again on Friday and made quite a splash closing up 24% on the day. As for Six Flags, it emerged from bankruptcy in mid 2010, and has been improving revenue ever since but could make investors as queasy as a rollercoaster. Analysts are calling for losses of $1.46 a share on about $68-million in revenue. That would actually be an improvement. Shares of the company have been trading just about $4 short of their 52-week high.

Texas Instruments (TXN) reports after the closing bell. The company has struggled in recent quarters with uncertainty and weak demand as it tries to focus more on its analog business. But there was encouraging news last week when the company declared it will be paying a quarterly dividend of 28-cents a share. Texas Instruments has in fact been trading near its 52-week high if only because it's been lifted by the tide of the overall market.

Finally, there's Gilead Sciences (GILD), which is also reporting today. Gilead rose nearly 5% on Friday, hitting a new 52-week high as one of its peers, Vertex (VTRX), climbed some 60%. Gilead develops treatment of life threatening diseases and dominates the market for HIV drugs. Analysts are looking for the company to post earnings of 50-cents a share, up 4-cents from last year on increased revenue of about $300-million.

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