US stocks fall on weakness in Caterpillar, industrials

NEW YORK (AFP) - US stocks finished lower Thursday on global growth fears with shares of industrial heavyweight Caterpillar sinking after it announced thousands of job cuts.

Shortly after the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 16,201.32, down 78.57 points (0.48 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 6.52 (0.34 per cent) to 1,932.24, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 18.27 (0.38 per cent) at 4,734.48.

Caterpillar fell 6.3 per cent after announcing a major cost-cutting program in response to the downturn in the energy and mining industries. Caterpillar could cut more than 10,000 jobs and 20 facilities through 2018.

Other large industrial companies were also weak, including Dow member General Electric and Honeywell International, which both lost about 1 per cent.