The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) is trading 120 points higher, or 0.71%, by midafternoon while investors wait for earnings season to kick into high gear. This week could provide insight into where the market is heading in the short term, with 59 S&P 500 companies scheduled to report quarterly earnings. If companies prove that growth has returned after the harsh winter hammered first-quarter reports, it could provide a boost to current stock prices.
S&P 500 profits are expected to grow 6.2% in the second quarter on a 3.1% increase in revenue, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.
With that in mind, here are some Dow components making headlines in the market today.
First up, Boeing (NYSE: BA ) is announcing a handful of commercial aircraft order commitments today that will be posted on the Boeing orders and deliveries website when finalized.
Boeing and Avolon announced the leasing company's commitment for six 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft and another five 737 MAX 9 airplanes. At current list prices, the commitment is valued at more than $2 billion.
Also today, Boeing and Okay Airways announced an order for six 737 MAX 8s and four next-generation 737-800s. The commitment would be valued at roughly $980 million at current list prices. Okay Airways is the first privately owned airline in China and is also the first to operate the 737-900ER.
Boeing's most valuable commitment today confirms last week's rumors: Boeing and Monarch Airlines announced a commitment for 30 737 MAX 8s, valued at $3.1 billion at current list prices.
"Today's announcement is an important milestone in an exhaustive three-year evaluation process, and a key part of The Monarch Group's transformation and renewal," said Iain Rawlinson, executive chairman of The Monarch Group, in a press release. "Boeing truly understood our business and put together a complete package that fits extremely well with our ambitions for the Group. With this announcement, we begin another chapter in our long and fruitful relationship with Boeing, something which now stretches over 40 years."
As Boeing's massive backlog of orders continues to balloon, investors will be listening carefully to management's comments regarding the execution of accelerating production and deliveries during the aviation juggernaut's second-quarter call next week.
Another Dow component, Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) , is making noise today after The Wall Street Journal reported it has fallen far behind General Electric in railroad locomotive innovation. Caterpillar's Electro-Motive Diesel unit won't have locomotives available until 2017 to comply with stricter emission standards taking effect next year. That's far behind General Electric (NYSE: GE ) , which is already testing locomotives that will comply with diesel-engine exhaust regulations taking effect next year.
For those keeping track, General Electric already owns an estimated 60%-70% of the U.S. locomotive market -- and its share will likely increase if General Electric's diesel locomotive hits the market ahead of Caterpillar's competing product.
This isn't something for investors to worry about in the short term. However, it's certainly not encouraging to hear that Caterpillar, a company that prides itself on producing heavy machinery and equipment, is falling behind in terms of innovation. Caterpillar has since downplayed the importance of this development, although it also commented that it intends to speed up its working schedule on its diesel locomotives.
Caterpillar is expected to report its most recent quarterly earnings before market open on July 24.
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