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Bellwether Champ, It's Honeywell (HON) Not Caterpillar (CAT)

Added on by Lee Ho Fook.

Economic bellwethers are considered staple stocks when it comes to judging how the overall economy is doing. For the most part, broad-based equipment and diversified products companies generally make the best bellwether. When talking about bellwethers, global equipment maker Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) is one of the first companies that comes to mind, but is it really the top bellwether? As it turns out, Honeywell (NYSE:HON) might be a better economic bellwether. See why CAT might still be good investment otherwise.

For this analysis, we'll consider the S&P 500 Index as the broader economy. Other major bellwethers we will consider include Deere & Co. (NYSE:DE),General Electric (NYSE:GE),Cummins (NYSE:CMI), Joy Global and Manitowoc. Outlined below is a breakdown of the betas for the major bellwether companies...

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