Looking for Growth

 | Jan 30, 2012 | 7:26 AM EST
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Where's all of this growth going to come from? On all of the calls last week we heard glimmers of hope that Europe would turn up by the end of the year. We know Ford (F) needs it, or it can't make its projections. We heard it loud and clear from Caterpillar (CAT). The huge machinery company is actually calling for a second-half moment of strength. Honeywell (HON) is thinking that the weakness could be tempered and doesn't think a recession is coming, or all bets are off.

But when you come in today, do you think that? Do you think that a group of countries that can't even line up an efficient bailout and firewall for a country that has been falling apart for years, Greece, is capable of also igniting growth?

Only the Germans have growth, and we will see later this week how their manufacturing is holding up.

Without a clear growth path and without Chinese rate cuts, the Caterpillars of the world will see their best plans waylaid.

I am loath to get against CAT. It has had a handle on things the whole way. But we have to admit that on days like today -- when decisions are put off and plans for growth seem chimerical, when China gets hammered and we hear nothing from them -- it's tough to see where all that worldwide growth is going to come from.


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