Caterpillar's Stock Leads Dow Gainers After Encouraging Machine Retail Sales Data

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Caterpillar Inc.'s stock rallied 1.6% in morning trade Monday, enough to pace the gainers in the Dow Jones Industrial Average , after the company reported encouraging February retail machine sales data. The maker of earth-moving equipment reported total February retail sales of machines for the rolling three-month period declined 1% from the same period a year ago, the smallest rate of decline since December 2012, with retail sales of machines for the construction industry turning positive for the first time since June 2014. The last time total retails sales were positive was the three months ending November 2012. The stock was also the biggest price gainer within the Dow, with its $1.45 gain adding about 10 points to the Dow's price, which was up 38 points in morning trade. Caterpillar shares have now tacked on 1.8% year to date, while the Dow has climbed 6%.

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