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When to Buy Industrial Stocks: Boeing, Caterpillar and GE

Stocks in this article: BA CAT DE GD GE LMT MMM RTN UTX

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- On Monday, we saw a better-than-expected February reading for industrial production. So now how do we invest today?

I've crunched the numbers for nine key companies in the aerospace, industrial production and multi-sector conglomerate sectors following Monday's report. Production rose 0.6%, stronger than the 0.2% expected by Wall Street economists. The Federal Reserve shows production up 2.8% year-over-year with capacity utilization at 78.8%, which is 1.3% below the 1972 to 2013 average.

What's interesting to note is that the aerospace names that provide products and services to the U.S. military have been the best performers year-to-date, while the industrial and conglomerate names face the drag from weakened demand from emerging markets.

Here are the profiles based upon how we crunch the numbers. This should help you decide when to invest. Take a look at my chart on the next page for more quant analysis on these stocks.

Boeing (BA - Get Report) ($125.42, down 8.1% YTD): The aerospace giant and Dow component set an all-time intraday high at $144.57 on Jan. 22, then traded as low as $118.77 on Feb. 5. Boeing is trading between its 200-day simple moving average at $120.22 and its 50-day SMA at $131.48, with the 21-day SMA at $127.60. The weekly chart is negative, with its five-week modified moving average at $128.31, and the pattern looks like a parabolic bubble that has popped. Quarterly and semiannual value levels are $120.52 and $117.06, with a semiannual pivot at $123.73 and monthly risky level at $144.42.

Caterpillar (CAT) ($95.67, up 5.4% YTD): The manufacturer of construction and mining equipment and Dow component set a 52-week intraday high at $98.24 on Feb. 24, and began the week between its 50-day SMA at $93.73 and its 21-day SMA at $96.66. The weekly chart is positive but overbought, with its five-week MMA at $94.77 and the 200-week SMA at $89.84. This chart shows a longer-term double-top at $116.55 in May 2011 and $116.95 in Feb. 2012, with a low in-between at $67.54 when the stock came close to its 200-week SMA. Monthly and quarterly value levels are $94.28 and $87.52, with an annual pivot at $95.79 and annual and semiannual risky levels at $97.90 and $118.44.

Deere (DE) ($87.49, down 4.2% YTD): The producer of agricultural equipment traded as low at $83.42 on Feb. 5, then rebounded to $89.67 on March 11 and is currently above its 50-day, 21-day and 200-day SMAs at $87.19, $86.48 and $84.87. The weekly chart is positive, with the five-week MMA at $87.06 and the 200-week SMA at $81.32. My weekly value level is $83.48, with monthly and quarterly risky levels at $88.38 and $91.97.

General Dynamics (GD) ($108.41, up 13.5% YTD): The aerospace and defense giant traded to an all-time intraday high at $113.57 on March 4. It is currently below its 21-day SMA at 108.95 and above its 50-day and 200-day SMAs at $102.93 and $90.12. The weekly chart is positive but overbought, with its five-week MMA at $105.68 in a pattern that I describe as a parabolic bubble. Annual value levels are $95.80 and $92.64, with monthly and weekly risky levels at $110.63 and $116.51.

General Electric (GE - Get Report) ($25.43, down 9.2% YTD): The multi-sector conglomerate and Dow component set an multiyear intraday high at $28.09 on Dec. 31, then traded as low as $24.32 on Feb 4. It is currently above its 200-day SMA at $24.12 and below its 21-day and 50-day SMAs at $25.54 and $25.78. The weekly chart is neutral, with the stock below its five-week MMA at $25.61 with rising stochastics. My weekly value level is $24.04 with semiannual risky levels at $27.22 and $27.76.

Lockheed Martin (LMT) ($164.07, up 10.4% YTD): The aerospace and defense company set an all-time intraday high at $168.41 on Feb. 24. It is currently on the cusp of its 21-day SMA at $163.95 and above its 50-day and 200-day SMAs at $156.59 and $133.33. The weekly chart is positive but overbought, with its five-week MMA at $159.79 in a pattern I describe as a parabolic bubble. Quarterly and annual value levels are $139.65 and $135.74, with weekly and monthly risky levels at $165.01 and $173.60.

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