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Key earnings next week: McDonald's, Boeing, Caterpillar

Earnings season kicks into high gear in the coming week.

McDonald's is likely to post an increase in third-quarter profits and sales. Investors will also be looking for word on how McDonald's hopes to capitalize on two recent trends - the chicken sandwich craze and the demand for meat-alternative burgers. In September, McDonald's started testing a Beyond Meat plant-based burger in Canada. Mickey D's results come out on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Caterpillar - another global economic bellwether is due to report. Not only is it coping with a sluggish global economy - its business is being negatively impacted by the steel and aluminum tariffs slapped on by the Trump administration. Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock heading into the results, citing what it called deterioration in Caterpillar's three key end-markets: construction, energy and transportation, and resources.

Fresh off allegations from the Federal Aviation Administration that Boeing employees may have misled about the safety of the now grounded 737MAX before two deadly plane crashes, Boeing reports results. This will also be the first time investors hear from CEO Dennis Muilenberg since he was stripped of his chairman title.

Rounding out some other key results: Microsoft reports on Wednesday, followed by Amazon on Thursday.

On the economic front: Updates on sales of new and previously owned homes. And investors get preliminary manufacturing survey data for October. Wall Street is looking for signs to see if the first contraction in U.S. factory activity in three years was a one-month blip or continued into October.