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Morning Market Roundup: Caterpillar Predictions, Ancestry.com to Sell for $1.6B, Oil Up on Mideast Conflict

Here’s what’s important in the business world this morning:

Caterpillar: Caterpillar says the global economy is weaker than previously thought, and it's cutting its profit and revenue guidance for 2012.

Caterpillar Inc. is the world's largest construction and mining equipment maker, so its results are watched closely as a sign of where the broader economy is headed.

Profit in the third-quarter was almost $1.7 billion, or $2.54 per share. That was up from $1.14 billion, or $1.71per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 4.6 percent to $16.45 billion.

The results included a $273 million gain from selling a majority interest in a logistics business.

The company now expects 2012 revenue of $66 billion, with profit of $9 to $9.25 per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected revenue of $67.2 billion, with profit of $9.41 per share.

Ancestry.com: Genealogy website Ancestry.com has agreed to be acquired by a group led by European private equity firm Permira Funds in a cash deal valued at about $1.6 billion.

The offered price of $32 per share is a nearly 10 percent premium over Friday's closing price of $29.18. Its shares jumped 8 percent, or $2.37, to $31.55 in premarket trading Monday.

Ancestry.com operates a website for researching family history and has more than 2 million paying subscribers. It says more than 10 billion records have been added to its site over the past 15 years.

The company said it has developed and acquired systems that digitize handwritten historical documents, and it works with government archives, historical societies and religious institutions around the world.

The company went public in 2009. Last year, it earned $62.9 million, or $1.29 per share, on nearly $400 million in revenue.

Oil: Oil prices rose Monday after violence in Lebanon sparked fears of wider unrest in the Middle East.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for November delivery was up 75 cents to $90.80 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $2.05 to end at $90.05 per barrel on Friday.

In London, Brent crude was up 59 cents to $110.73 on the ICE Futures exchange.

Fears of instability in the Middle East flared anew Friday, when Lebanon's intelligence chief, Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, was assassinated in a massive car bombing. He was a powerful opponent of Syria, which for decades has wielded political and military influence in Lebanon.

Syria itself has been riven with violence since an uprising against President Bashar Assad began in February 2011.

Brent prices were also supported by the delayed return to production of the Buzzard oil field in the North Sea.

U.S. Stock Futures: U.S. stock market futures are gaining narrowly after Friday's massive selloff, despite mixed quarterly reports from some top companies.

Dow Jones futures are up 17 points at 13,269. S&P 500 futures have added 2.1 to 1,426. Nasdaq 100 futures are gaining 9.2 to 2,673.

With little economic data due, corporate earnings are in focus. Caterpillar Inc.'s third-quarter results came in ahead of Wall Street estimates, but the construction equipment maker cut its 2012 outlook because of a weakening global economy.

Meanwhile, companies that cater to consumers, like toy maker Hasbro Inc. and clothing maker VF Corp., posted better-than-expected results.

European markets edged higher, even as the focus stayed on the tech sector, which has posted disappointing results so far. Yahoo Inc. will report after market close Monday. Asian markets also gained.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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