Once again, we saw mixed reports from large multinational industrial companies. These are the sectors to watch: large multinationals that make heating and air conditioning systems, electric motors, truck parts, plumbing equipment.
Johnson Controls--which makes heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems as well as automotive interiors, beat on top and bottom line. Most importantly, they gave a preliminary look at 2014, saying "improving end markets will enable the company to modestly grow revenues in the upcoming year." They are expecting earnings to grow 30 percent in the first quarter of 2014, which is terrific.
Regal Beloit, which makes electric motors used in machines all over the world, also beat on the topline but was light on revenues. They had growth in power generation, and modest growth in China. They are buying a European motor company, which is pretty good.