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

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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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