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Caterpillar Falls After Commodity Prices Decline: Chicago Mover

Caterpillar Inc., the world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment, dropped the most in eight trading sessions after declines in commodity prices and economic confidence in the euro area.

Caterpillar fell 2.5 percent to $90.18 at the close in New York, the biggest intraday drop since May 17.

The company is a “bellwether for capital goods,” Larry De Maria, a New York-based analyst for William Blair & Co. who has a buy rating on Caterpillar, said in a telephone interview today. “The stock is being adversely affected by weaker sentiment for the macro environment.”

An index of executive and consumer sentiment in the euro area declined to 90.6 in May from a revised 92.9 in April, the European Commission said today. That missed the 91.9 median of 28 economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Copper fell to a 20-week low in New York while aluminum and nickel dropped in London. Lack of visibility on China’s plans for spending on infrastructure also is hurting the shares, De Maria said.

Caterpillar bet on global economic growth, especially in emerging markets, by purchasing U.S. mining-equipment maker Bucyrus International Inc. in July for $8.8 billion. Caterpillar also plans to acquire Hong Kong-based ERA Mining Machinery Ltd., which makes equipment used in coal production.

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