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Grim Caterpillar outlook tugs stocks mostly lower

A bleak forecast from heavy equipment maker Caterpillar sours the mood on Wall Street

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Trader David O'Day. left, works with specialist Mark Fitzgerald on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Monday, July 22, 2013. Chinese stocks fell Wednesday July 24, 2013 after a survey showed the country's manufacturing fell to its lowest point in nearly a year, though other Asian markets bounced back to finish higher after the report. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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NEW YORK — A gloomy outlook from Caterpillar, the world’s largest construction equipment company, helped send stocks mostly lower on Wall Street today.

Caterpillar said today that its earnings fell 43 percent in the second quarter as China’s economy slowed and commodity prices sank.

Apple rose after beating analysts’ estimates for quarterly earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 15,542.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell six points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,685.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index edged up a fraction to 3,579.

AT&T fell after its costs surged in the latest quarter. The company spent heavily on subsidizing smartphone sales.

Three stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was average at 3.3 billion shares.

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