Caterpillar has some bad news. On Thursday, the industrial giant announced plans for it to cut as many as 10,000 jobs as part of a restructuring plan in the face of what it called “a convergence of challenging marketplace conditions in key regions and industry sectors — namely in mining and energy.” In early trading on Thursday, shares of the company were down over 7%. Year-to-date, the stock is down about 25%.
Caterpillar is seen as a bellwether for the global economy because its equipment is big, expensive, and often the kind of investment a company makes only when it feels confident about its prospects and the global economy. Additionally, Caterpillar has been seen as one of the leading indicators on China’s economic slowdown given the decline in the company’s sales in that region over the past several years. This news out of Caterpillar follows a warning earlier this week from its UK-based rival JCB that it would cut jobs because of a slowdown in Russia, China, and Brazil. FULL REPORT