New York — President Donald Trump’s trade war is threatening to halt what was shaping up as a record profit year for Caterpillar, a bellwether of US industrial might. Analysts have been predicting net income could reach a high of $6.24bn as expanding economies fuel robust demand for the manufacturer’s signature yellow diggers, bulldozers and dump trucks. But the shares had their worst first half since the recession of 2009, and they have been slow to rebound. That is because Caterpillar gets more than half of its sales outside the US, and an escalating trade war is menacing global economic-growth prospects. Tensions have been high as Trump warned he could expand import tariffs that have led to retaliatory duties by China, Mexico, Canada and Europe. Rising metal prices that have dented industrial profits could ensnare Caterpillar’s recovery. Biggest risk "That’s the biggest risk," said Larry De Maria, an analyst at William Blair. "The trade war absolutely could have an impact and spi...

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