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[video] Quick Take: Markets Open Higher, Caterpillar tops Forecasts

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 opened higher on Monday after its worst week since June 2012. However, the index has quickly moved lower and looking to find support. TheStreet's Nicole Urken, senior stock analyst, has the headlines from Monday morning. 

U.S. natural gas is slightly lower after touching its highest levels since February 2010. The polar vortex continues to slam the Midwest and Northeast and January is on track to become the coldest month of the century for the continental United States. 

Shares of Caterpillar (CAT) are higher thanks to a top and bottom line earnings beat. The company's guidance was also stronger than analysts had expected, Urken said. Caterpillar also announced a $10 billion share buyback plan, $1.7 billion of which will be put to work in the first quarter of 2014, she added. 

Vodafone (VOD) was lower but has since recovered about half of those losses on an AT&T (T) announcement saying it has no intentions to make a bid for the company. 

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American Electric Power (AEP) is slightly higher following a top and bottom line earnings beat. 

Urken turned to some analyst actions this morning: Peabody Energy (BTU) is off its session highs following an upgrade to hold from sell at Merrill Lynch/Bank of America, while Cisco Systems (CSCO) is slightly lower following a downgrade to sell from hold at J.P. Morgan. 

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter. Focuses on short-to-intermediate-term trading opportunities that can be exposed via options. He prefers to use debit trades on momentum setups and credit trades on support/resistance setups. He also focuses on building long-term wealth by searching for consistent, quality dividend paying companies and long-term growth companies. He considers himself the surfer, not the wave, in relation to the market and himself. He has no allegiance to either the bull side or the bear side.

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