Dow Today: Caterpillar (CAT) Higher

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 40 points (+0.3%) at 12,947 as of Friday, Mar 9, 2012, 12:40 p.m. ET. During this time, 279.6 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 818.6 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,245 issues advancing vs. 655 declining with 111 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), which is sporting a 51-cent gain (+0.5%) bringing the stock to $110.79. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 3.86 points or roughly accounting for 9.7% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Caterpillar currently sits at 3.4 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 7.8 million shares.

Caterpillar has a market cap of $68.73 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and industrial industry. Shares are up 21.7% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.7%.

Caterpillar Inc. manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.6, below the average industrial industry P/E ratio of 16.3 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Caterpillar as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

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