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HOT STOCKS: Caterpillar Beats; Apple earnings after the close; Google deal with Samsung; Outbreak on a Royal Caribbean cruise

Hot Stock Minute

Apple (AAPL) is expected to report earnings of $14.09 per share, which would be up $0.28 from last year, and revenue is expected to rise 5.4%. Apple also continues to face pressure from billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn who recently took to Twitter pushing for a bigger stock repurchase program.

Google (GOOG)’s latest play to fend off competition from Apple is in the mobile market. Google signed a broad cross-licensing agreement on technology patents with Samsung. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but the agreement covers existing patents as well as some that would be filed in the next ten years. In other news, Google also announced that it has bought DeepMind, a U.K. artificial intelligence startup.

Caterpillar (CAT) surged close to 7% in early trading after better-than-expected earnings and revenue. Earnings per share beat estimates by $0.26. Revenue fell 10%, though it also beat expectations. Caterpillar blamed the loss in revenue on declining mining sales which came in worse than expected. Caterpillar also approved a $10 billion stock repurchase program through 2018.

And Royal Caribbean (RCL) cut short a 10-day cruise after more than 600 passengers and crew members came down with a gastrointestinal illness. The cruise from New Jersey to the Caribbean departed Tuesday. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control boarded the ship in the Virgin Islands to investigate, but have not yet confirmed the cause of the outbreak. Royal Caribbean said it was "taking several steps" to compensate passengers for the shortened trip. It was unfortunate timing as the cruise line is also expected to report quarterly earnings this morning.

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