3M Sees Improvement in Sluggish Demand and 3 Dow Movers Making Waves

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA): Current price $75.20

The 787 Dreamliner’s problems are impacting two prominent chief executives, according to the Wall Street Journal. Boeing’s Chairman and Chief Executive Jim McNerney, who presided over the Dreamliner’s launch has the most at stake, while the Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) Chief executive Alan Mulally, who managed the plane’s conception and early development at the time when he was head of Boeing’s commercial airplanes unit before leaving for Ford in 2006, would be the other. The Dreamliner is the first jetliner model grounded by United States regulators in more than three decades

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3M Company (NYSE:MMM): Current price $100.70

3M says that demand in China is improving from the past year’s weakened levels, says the Wall Street Journal. Chief Executive G. Thulin reported that fourth quarter sales in China, without electronics, were up around 10 percent tear-over-year from 2011, partly due to stronger sales of health-care supplies. Thulin remarked that “We feel optimistic” about China.

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Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT): Current price $95.23

The company disclosed in a filing that for the 3-month rolling period ending December, its world retail sales of machines were down 1 percent compared to a rise of 5 percent in the same period ending November. Sales in North America were down 6 percent in the period, while sales in Asia/Pacific were down 7 percent, sales in Europe/Africa/Middle East were up 4 percent, and sales in Latin America were up by a whopping 14 percent.

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The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS):  Current price $54.37

Director J.J. Abrams of the latest Star Trek film and co-creator of LOST, will direct Disney’s Star Wars: Episode VII, said The Los Angeles Times Thursday night, citing confirmations from sources.

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