UTX Worries About Cuts in Spare Parts Orders by U.S. Military and 2 Other Dow Movers to Watch

United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX): Current price $109.34

United Technologies subsidiary Sikorsky is concerned about sharp cuts in United States military spare parts orders, Chief Financial Officer Greg Hayes said to the Associated Press on Tuesday. However, he was more optimistic regarding prospects in Europe, even as he told investor analysts that automatic U.S. federal budget cuts starting in March could take a larger chunk out of profit next year than the firm initially had expected. The Defense Department is Sikorsky’s No. 1 customer; Hayes remarked, “I just don’t know what’s going to happen in DoD.” United Technologies estimated that federal spending cuts will carve into 2013 earnings by 10 cents per share.

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Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD): Current price $75.44

Shares of the country’s largest home improvement retailer moved up by 0.3 percent to 76.04 in early trading Wednesday before falling to just inside the red later. The stock price has flattened since the second week of May in the face of its record of impressive financial growth. However, a glimmer of hope for Home Depot is that housing starts in August jumped by 0.9 percent from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 891,000 units in August, according to the Commerce Department.

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3M Co. (NYSE:MMM): Current price $120.11

3M Food Safety announced its worldwide launch of the 3M Petrifilm Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plate, which is an indicator test that allows the detection of yeasts and molds in as little as 48 hours, quicker than conventional agar methods. The company said it is expanding the 3M Petrifilm Plate tech has become a global standard for more than 25 years because of its reliability and simplicity, and this new plate also offers food processors a solution for inoculation with an easy, consistent manner in which to interpret and enumerate colonies.

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