NEW YORK (TheStreet)-Emerging market question marks remain front & center. And while countries like Argentina and Turkey are dominating headlines, front & center is none other than China, with worries of slowing economic growth, with the factory sector contracting in January for the first time in six months. (HSBC's Flash Purchasing Managers' Index, PMI, for January came in at 49.6, down from last month's final reading of 50.5).
The emerging market question marks seem to be issue number one for the market right now, particularly as taper has been expected and is gradual.
So, when thinking about China: When panic sets in, we turn to company-specific data. Ultimately, broader economic read concerns will dominate headlines, but let's turn back to some positive data we have gotten from individual companies, as there has been a good deal of positive news flow:
Caterpillar (CAT): While some of the better-than-expected results today were due to cost saves and restructuring, the company also sees sales leveling off this year. And China was a highlight:
"Our sales in China were up more than 20% this year. They were up in the quarter. So, you know, it has not been a big negative for us"
And regarding the downtick in PMI: "Yes that has occurred... the market reactions really over the past week or 10 days or so. I think in our business it has been pretty positive. We've seen the construction-not just our sales, but kind of the overall construction equipemtn group sales in the industry ticking up year over year and over the past few months. And we saw that again in December, so I think what we've seen has been pretty good."