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Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), United Technologies Corporation (UTX): The Dow (.DJI) Hits Triple-Digit Gains on Industrial Power

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Stocks are back on the upswing today after the bearish start to the week, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) has ignored overseas pressures to post strong gains so far today. The blue-chip index has jumped 129 points as of 2:25 p.m. EDT to climb back above the 15,000 mark. Japanese markets plunged earlier today in what has become a pattern over the last few weeks, but American markets don’t seem to be sharing their Japanese counterparts’ worries.

How is today’s climb impacting your portfolio? Let’s check out the top movers and stories you need to know about.

Manufacturing builds up gains

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT)
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) has been one of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI)’s worst stocks in 2013, but the industrial giant’s leading the index higher today. Shares have surged 1.9% after Caterpillar announced a 15% hike in its dividend on Wednesday, raising its yield to 2.9% as of yesterday’s closing price. Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT)’s weakness this year is part of a trend across the industrial sector, so take heart, income investors: This firm is still on top of its industry despite its recent woes. While Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT)’s fortunes have taken a hit in the mining industry, particularly given China’s sluggish growth and downbeat economic projections, this company is the most well-positioned firm in its sector to capitalize when industrials — traditionally a highly cyclical industry — turn around.

Shares in fellow manufacturer United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) have jumped 1.6% today to rank among the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI)’s leaders as well. United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) scored big earlier in the week when the Pentagon handed out $1 billion in contract awards. The company won a whopping $649 million of that package in a modification of a prior contract, whereby UTC subsidiary Pratt & Whitney would deliver engines for the Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) F-35 fighter. United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) has done well in the defense industry, particularly on the back of the much-maligned boondoggle that is the F-35, but sequestration — along with concerns over the F-35’s skyrocketing costs — could slow down the company’s momentum in the future.

Aerospace and defense investors haven’t complained about the day’s gains, with The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) shares also among the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI)’s leaders today. The stock has climbed more than 1.2% today, and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) investors have enjoyed a strong past few weeks after a tumultuous start to the year. The company’s 787 Dreamliner has returned to normal operations after it being grounded for the first few months of 2013, and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) won two big military contracts earlier this week.

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