Sector Snap: machinery companies

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of machinery companies traded higher Friday as an analyst lauded some benefits of the "fiscal cliff" compromise deal and a key monthly order figure improved.

Stephen Volkmann of Jefferies said in a client note that the "fiscal cliff" agreement allows companies to write off up to $500,000 in new or used asset purchases this year. The analyst said that is a large amount considering that the limit was expected to roll back to $25,000 as a result of Bush era tax cuts expiring.

"Equipment purchasers will continue to be able to use the purchase of equipment as an offset to their overall tax burden. The result will be a continuation of the elevated prices for agriculture and construction used equipment," Volkmann wrote.

The sector is also getting a bounce from a Commerce Department report. The report said that orders for core capital goods, a category considered a proxy for business investment plans, increased a solid 2.6 percent in November after a 3 percent rise in October, which had been the strongest gain in 10 months.

The back-to-back increases in core capital goods followed a period of weakness that had raised concerns about business investment, a driving force in the economic rebound.

Here is how some machinery companies are faring in morning trading:

Agco Corp. climbed 17 cents to $50.54.

Danaher Corp. added 19 cents to $58.22.

Deere & Co. rose 79 cents to $88.56.

Dover Corp. rose 28 cents to $67.41.

Parker-Hannifin Corp. added 18 cents to $88.52.

Ingersoll-Rand PLC climbed 43 cents to $49.39.

Caterpillar Inc. gained 7 cents to $94.47.

Illinois Tool Works Inc. climbed 16 cents to $62.39.