US heavy equipment maker Caterpillar said Tuesday that the plunge in oil prices took a hit on the company's earnings in the fourth quarter of 2014. It also said it did not expect much of an upturn this year, with mining commodities still in a slump as the global economy grows slowly and with sweeping cutbacks in investment by the oil industry. The company reported a slight decline in fourth quarter revenues from a year earlier and a sharper drop in profits, falling short of its own forecasts. Chairman and chief executive Doug Oberhelman said that despite the profit miss in the fourth quarter, the company had a better year than originally predicted, and improved on 2013.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Three powerful accidents in recent years highlight weaknesses in the oversight of how natural gas providers maintain the largest pipelines in their networks, accident investigators said Wednesday as they issued more than two dozen safety recommendations.