Blue Chip Thursday: Caterpiller, 3M, Ford, GM, Plus Three Homebuilders to Report

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Today's pre-earnings stock profiles include two Dow components led by Caterpillar (CAT), whose stock is up 21% year to date, and 3M (MMM), which is up 3.5%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 3.2%.

There are two U.S. auto stocks on today's list -- Ford Motor (F) is up 16% year to date, and General Motors (GM), with all of its recalls, is down 7.6%.

Three homebuilders have three different performance statistics: D.R. Horton (DHI) is up 8.9% year to date, while Meritage Homes (MTH) is down 11%, and Pulte Group (PHM) is down 4.5%. All three are components of the housing market index, which is down 1.2% year to date.

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Let's take a look at the stock profiles. Two "crunching the numbers" tables follow. All seven companies are scheduled to report their quarterly financial results before the opening bell on Thursday.

Caterpillar ($110.06) set a 52-week intraday high at $111.46 on July 16, and is above all five moving averages in today's first table.

Analysts expect the company to report earnings per share of $1.50. The company's 12-month trailing price-to-earnings ratio is 18.1, and its dividend yield is 2.5%.

The weekly chart is positive but overbought its five-week modified moving average at $108.56. Quarterly and annual value levels are $102.07 and $95.20, respectively, with monthly and semiannual risky levels at $115.01 and $120.38, respectively.

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