Dow Jones 30 Week in Review: Sandy Boosts Sales for Home Depot, Caterpillar Stock Jumps

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Here’s your Cheat Sheet to the week in Dow 30 business news:

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General Electric Oil & Gas (NYSE:GE) reports that it has received a £102 million, or $165 million, contract to provide production equipment to Chevron’s Lianzi project, which lies offshore between Angola and the Republic of Congo. GE will supply a range of technologies to permit engineering, procurement and construction, and project execution, which includes the supply of nine subsea control modules, seven trees, topside and subsea controls distribution equipment and vertical connection systems. The first tree is set for completion in the fourth quarter of next year, with a cross-regional team from the firm’s Aberdeen, Nailsea and Sandvika (Norway) sites which are working together on project delivery.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) announced on Monday that it was shipping the industry’s first solid state drive series with a 20-nanometer NAND flash memory process, which is the 335 Series. The 6 gigabit-per-second SATA drive, which features a 240 gigabyte capacity that performs 500 megabytes-per-second sequential reads and 450 MB/s sequential writes, represents Intel’s first SSD to utilize the latest 20nm NAND flash memory, which was jointly developed by IM Flash Technologies.

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3M Company (NYSE:MMM) has made a licensing agreement on Tuesday with Wieland Dental + Technik GmbH & Co. for the use of the former’s processed zirconia coloring technology.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): The Seagate company EVault’s backup and recovery platform will now take advantage of the Windows Azure cloud platform. Through this arrangement, EVault will be expanding the development, sales and marketing collaboration surrounding Windows Azure. In addition, EVault Endpoint Protection, which is a cloud-connected backup, recovery and data security solution meant for endpoint devices, is now available on Windows Azure.

The Travelers Companies (NYSE:TRV): As of Monday night, Hurricane Sandy had likely caused between $5 billion and $10 billion in insured losses, along with a range of $10 billion to $20 billion in economic losses, quoted the insurance research firm Eqecat to Reuters. At the same time, the research firm RMS estimated that Sandy will probably cause far more insured losses than the $4.5 billion of similar losses by Hurricane Irene. Travelers will be one of many insurance companies with significant claims for investors to monitor.

Investing Insights: Are Allstate Shares a Sell in the Face of Hurricane Sandy?

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is currently assessing damage and beginning the restoration of service to consumers, enterprise clients and government agencies, according to a company statement released Tuesday night. The firm’s networks are functioning well in the face of massive flooding and the loss of commercial power in a number of locations, though there exist serious problems in lower Manhattan along with stress in the greater New York metropolitan area. Bob Mudge, president of Verizon’s Consumer and Mass Business, said that, “Although we will be working with all available resources to restore service for our customers, some pockets of damage are extensive and could take up to a week or more to fully restore.” More than 200 Verizon facilities are serving customers on backup power, even though there is widespread loss of commercial power across the area.

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Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) will promote and sell the new $98 Boxee TV, which should rival Apple TV (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Netflix’s (NASDAQ:NFLX) streaming service, according to Bloomberg.

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3M Company (NYSE:MMM) will continue its involvement in China’s photovoltaic solar industry and intends to spend around $120 million on research and development there during the next five years, says China Daily. President of 3M China Region and Chief Executive of 3M China, Kenneth Yu, says that the firm’s annual sales in China should surpass those in the United States in 5 to 10 years.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) have won a $9.8 million contract to migrate the Environmental Protection Agency to Microsoft Office 365, which is a cloud-based collaboration and communication service. This new system should save around $12 million over the four-year contract. Through its terms, about 25,000 users of EPA e-mail will be moved to Office 365 for Government, with the primary migration set to be completed early next year.

AT&T’s (NYSE:T) U-Verse and Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) have reached terms through which the latter reached its third distribution deal in two days for its new Los Angeles regional sports networks, according to The Los Angeles Times. This latest arrangement for the new television headquarters of the Lakers follows recent agreements with Charter Communcations (NASDAQ:CHTR) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ).

The Travelers Companies (NYSE:TRV) reports on Wednesday that the cost of Hurricane Sandy is likely to amount to more than $20 billion. That total could include insured losses of approximately $7 billion to $8 billion, with much of the remainder to be shared by cities and states through which to repair infrastructure, the hazard-research firm Kinetic Analysis Corp. told Bloomberg.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) will see the telecom equipment gear it has been providing replaced by that of China Unicom (NYSE:CHU). The new arrangement is viewed as retaliation, following the branding of ZTE and Huawei as security threats by the United States government, according to China Want Times. China Unicom now says that it will not use Cisco’s products from now on.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) has named WageWorks (WAGE) to administer its health reimbursement arrangement and flexible spending account programs for more than domestic 95,000 workers.

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM): Regulators in both the United Kingdom and in the United States are hoping to obtain resolutions with one or even two additional banks by the end of 2102 over claims that they manipulated Libor along with other interbank interest rates, says the The Financial Times. The Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS) should be one of the banks to settle with the agencies and it anticipates having to pay as much as £300 million.

The Boeing Company’s (NYSE:BA) older Boeing 747s may be replaced with Airbus (EADSY) A350-1000s, which is the European jet manufacturer’s largest twin-engine model, says Bloomberg. United Continental (NYSE:UAL) is in discussions over the matter on Thursday.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT): Boyd Company LLC, which owns Whayne Supply Company and Cecil I. Walker Machinery Co., report that Whayne Supply and Walker Machinery have purchased the Bucyrus equipment distribution and support business for their territories from Caterpillar Global Mining LLC. Whayne Supply and Walker Machinery are authorized Caterpillar dealers in southern Indiana, southeastern Ohio, Kentucky, and in portions of West Virginia. Boyd Company has established Whayne-Walker Underground Mining as the business division to supply distribution and support requirements for the new products. Meanwhile, Caterpillar continues to conduct talks with other Cat dealers which have mining activity in their territories and will also continue to operate the former Bucyrus distribution unit until the transitions have been completed in a given territory.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Itron (NASDAQ:ITRI) technologies have been chosen by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for its smart grid demonstration project. The Department will install as many as 52,000 Itron smart electric meters and 20 smart water modules which should operate over an integrated cellular and multi-application IPv6 communication network, based on the Cisco GridBlocks architecture, which employs Cisco Connected Grid routers and Network Management System.

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS): Attorneys for Disney’s ABC News have requested that a judge throw out a $1 billion defamation suit filed by Beef Products Inc. in regards to “pink slime,” which is a meat product, according to The Associated Press. The lawyers maintain that ABC News did not knowingly disparage the firm or its product.

Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT), and Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) took to selling opportunities created by the storm, as consumers with flooded homes and damaged roofs crowded the stores seeking building materials, food and other necessities, says the Wall Street Journal. Generators were said to be much in demand.

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Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) Janssen Pharmaceuticals has entered into a non-exclusive collaboration arrangement with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) in a Phase 2 study of the safety and efficacy of an all-oral regimen for the treatment of hepatitis C, or HCV. The regimen includes both Janssen’s investigational protease inhibitor simeprevir, or TMC435, and Vertex’s investigational nucleotide analogue HCV polymerase inhibitor, VX-135. Initially, Janssen will conduct a drug-drug interaction, or DDI, study with simeprevir and VX-135, which will support the beginning of the Phase 2 study early next year pending talks with regulatory authorities. The aim of the Phase 2 study is to evaluate the safety, tolerability and viral cure rates of a 12-week regimen of simeprevir and VX-135, administered both with and without ribavirin, in treatment-naive patients who suffer from chronic non-cirrhotic genotype 1 HCV. The firms will jointly fund development costs associated with the collaboration, and there will be no up-front or milestone payments associated with the colaboration.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) are automatically waiving fees for their customers who were impacted by the storm, but Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) will not, according to the Wall Street Journal. BofA says that customers can qualify for the waiver of some fees, but they must go into a branch or contact the company through an 800 number first.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Protalix BioTherapeutics (AMEX:PLX) report that the European Commission has issued a Commission Decision refusing the Marketing Authorization for taliglucerase alfa, which is an enzyme replacement therapy for the treatment of Gaucher disease. More specifically, the regulator has endorsed the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use recommendation not to issue a Marketing Authorization for taliglucerase alfa in the European Union.

As was first reported on June 22, the CHMP issued its Opinion on taliglucerase alfa, giving a positive risk-benefit assessment which found that the benefits of the medicine surpassed its risks in the treatment of Type 1 Gaucher disease. However, despite the positive risk-benefit assessment, the CHMP could not recommend Marketing Authorization because Shire’s (SHPG) velaglucerase alfa had received prior Marketing Authorization with orphan drug designation for the same condition.

Thus, Shire’s treatment holds orphan market exclusivity in the EU for a ten-year period beginning on its authorization in August 2010. Pfizer sought a request for derogation from Shire’s orphan market exclusivity, based on several factors but the request was denied.

The firm commented that, “We are disappointed by the EC’s decision on taliglucerase alfa and believe it is important, given the history of past shortages, for the Gaucher disease community in the EU to have a third treatment option available. We will continue to work closely with our partner, Protalix, to make taliglucerase alfa available to the Gaucher disease community in other countries.”

The Travelers Companies (NYSE:TRV): More than one governor has decided that insurance firms must treat hurricane Sandy as a tropical storm as opposed to a hurricane, according to The New York Times on Wednesday. With this classification, many coastal homeowners will be now allowed pay lower deductibles on their insurance policies.

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Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is “scrambling” to repair severe flooding damage at a crucial switching facility in its Lower Manhattan headquarters, says The Wall Street Journal.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) says that Sam’s Club is offering an added selection of everyday essentials and new conveniences for its customers in DuPage County when the expanded Sam’s Club debuts in Addison on Thursday. The newly expanded store adds 40,000-square feet to the premises that was originally opened in 1993 and will feature an expanded bakery and produce department, deli, and freshly prepared meals. Addison Sam’s Club manager, Aaron Greene, said that about 40 new jobs were created with the expansion and the that club will employ 190 total associates.

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) announces that it expects to deliver future 787 Dreamliners on schedule to United Airlines (NYSE:UAL), according to Reuters. Prior to this, United had said that its future 787 deliveries might be delayed.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) is among a number big-cap industrials and tech firms and other companies whose stocks are positively affected by a surprise jump in Chinese purchasing ( and not to any one thing going on in the United States). Others include FedEx (NYSE:FDX) and Joy Global (NASDAQ:JOY), Nike (NYSE:NKE), which sells enormously into China, as well as Eaton (NYSE:ETN), and coal exporter Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU). It was  pointed out by Jim Cramer that China is also a big  market for technology, and might be able to single-handedly rescue that sector.

Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) posts its third quarter international upstream earnings of $4.02 billion and international downstream earnings of $233 million, for the same period.

The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE:DIS) Wreck-It Ralph is expected to open at between $45 million and $50 million this weekend, say pre-release surveys, but its studio and theater executives are unsure as to what impact the hurricane might have on attendance, according to The Los Angeles Times.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) executives for the senior housing and care industries are confident as to their performance during the next 12 months, says a survey of industry executives released Friday by GE Capital Healthcare Financial Services. Some 77 percent of respondents referred to stronger performance expectations for the next 12 months compared to 2011 and 22 percent anticipated similar results year-over-year.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), HSBC Holdings (NYSE:HBC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), and Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) were named by the Financial Stability Board as the four banks most central to the system and it was recommended that those four should be subject to a capital surcharge of 2.5 percent above the statutory minimums set in “Basel III,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The Board coordinates the world regulatory response to the financial crisis on behalf of the Group of 20, and said that 24 addirional banks on its list should be subjected to lighter surcharges of between 1 and 2 percent above the capital equivalent of 7 percent of risk-weighted assets mandated by Basel III rules.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) will pay a $1.25 million contingent payment to Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ISIS), triggered by the former’s decision to advance EXC 001 into a Phase 2 study. Last year, Isis received $4.4 million for its equity ownership of Excaliard from Pfizer’s purchase of Excaliard Pharmaceuticals and, except for the $1.25 million, is eligible to receive $8.35 million more in contingent payments upon the achievement of various milestones linked with the clinical and commercial progress of EXC 001, also referred to as PF-06473871. Additionally, Isis remains eligible for milestone and royalty payments under its licensing agreement with Excaliard for EXC 001.

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