Finding Today’s Market Leaders

So where is the leadership in this market? Certainly, oil and gas producers take the top spot. Not surprisingly, Exxon Mobil is a Dow stock that’s doing great. This stock has doubled in value over the last two and half years.

Caterpillar is another Dow stock that really has a distinguished track record in this market. In fact, if you pull up a long-term chart on the stock, you can see a solid, consistent uptrend in the stock since the early 1990s.

Caterpillar should be a case study in business schools. The heavy equipment business is tough, yet Caterpillar’s management has been able to grow the business in a diligent and consistent manner. It’s done so on a global scale too, which is a lot harder to execute than you might think.

For a large-cap company, Caterpillar looks poised for continued outperformance. There are two reasons why Caterpillar is doing so well right now:

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1) The company is selling a lot of product to the domestic resource sector. This includes machinery for the energy and mining industries, which, as you know, are hot market sectors. Oil and gas developers, as well as mining companies, are spending big bucks on exploration and development. Caterpillar is a direct beneficiary of all this capital spending.

2) The company is also doing well selling its products to the Asia Pacific region. In particular, Caterpillar has been increasing its business presence in China in order to benefit from the country’s burgeoning construction industry. The company first began selling in China in 1975. Now, Caterpillar operates 10 facilities in mainland China, employing some 2,000 people. The company was way ahead of corporate America in establishing an operating presence in the world’s fastest growing large economy.

From my perspective, it’s useful to consider how large-cap companies execute their business plans commensurate with changing economic fundamentals. Caterpillar is the perfect example of a successful, global company that makes great products while creating wealth for stockholders. If you’re speculating with commodity investments right now, Caterpillar seems like a worthy large-cap opportunity.