Dow Today: Caterpillar (CAT) Lower

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading down 35.0 points (-0.3%) at 13,135 as of Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012, 11:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 339 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 1,403 issues advancing vs. 1,458 declining with 119 unchanged.

Holding back the Dow today is Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a $1.32 decline (-1.2%) bringing the stock to $109.44. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 9.99 points or roughly accounting for 28.5% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Caterpillar currently sits at 3.7 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 25.5% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.6%.

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 15.4, 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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