Caterpillar Takes the Fed Off the Table

Take heart from its its lousy showing. Together with Wal-Mart, it could hold off more tightening.
Publish date:

This column was originally published on RealMoney on Oct. 20 at 9:51 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for readers.

The economy is slowing for


(CAT) - Get Report

. It isn't slowing for


(DE) - Get Report



(CSX) - Get Report


Union Pacific

(UNP) - Get Report


Continental Air

(CAL) - Get Report

, every retailer, and almost every tech company.

But because we are so overbought, for the morning Caterpillar will trump all of that good news and send people to buy defensive names such as


(UNH) - Get Report






(MO) - Get Report

. (Those buys will be futile, by the way, because of options pressure.)

To me, this is all nutty. Caterpillar's important; it led the


up. But if you are like me, Caterpillar is the answer, like


(WMT) - Get Report

, to the single biggest question on earth: Is the

Federal Reserve

done tightening?

Caterpillar and Wal-Mart are so visible that they could, in the Fed mindset, hold off the next tightening. I can't tell you how many companies, from

Washington Mutual

(WM) - Get Report



(TOL) - Get Report

, from

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report


Fortune Brands


, need that to happen.

So before you bail on Caterpillar -- which is like bailing on Wal-Mart, in my opinion -- take heart that today, the Fed is off the table.

Random musings:

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At the time of publication, Cramer was long UnitedHealth Group, Schering-Plough and Altria.

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