Caterpillar, a maker of large commerical and construction equipment, released its third-quarter earnings results Tuesday. The big news that has the global economy on edge is the company's lowering of its expected 2016 earnings per share, excluding restructuring costs. Caterpillar earlier predicted $3.55, but has since lowered it to $3.25.

As a supplier of equipment for the construction market, investors across the globe see Caterpillar's performance as a sign of things to come in the global industry.

"Economic weakness throughout much of the world persists and, as a result, most of our end markets remain challenged," CEO Doug Oberhelman said in the earnings statement.

"We remain cautious as we look ahead to 2017, but are hopeful as the year unfolds we will begin to see more positive momentum."

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