With all of the hoopla involving the tech bull market, we can't forget the industrial bull market lives and breathes every day.
What's moving the industrial bull market? Let's start with aerospace, which is in one of the most powerful bull phases I can recall.
Do you know that aerospace has always been considered a cyclical industry, where there were tremendous highs and miserable lows? In particular, I have seen Boeing (BA) hit highs and then set lows all within a two-year timeframe. Not this time. There's just too much demand, which is why Boeing is capable of a multiyear move, the first time that's happened that I can recall.
Same with Honeywell (HON) and United Technologies (UTX) , which have managed to be able to incorporate new technologies to make engines lighter and planes more connected. Of course, there is so much more to both of these companies. United Tech has an incredibly strong heating ventilation and air conditioning business, while Honeywell has a fantastic auto turbo franchise.
Then consider the capital equipment surge that you are seeing represented by the amazing run in the stock of Caterpillar (CAT) . I have learned out here in Dreamforce that part of the strength is the direct-to-consumer business that Caterpillar has built away from its dealer network. I think that's a competitive advantage vs. its peers.
I know it is just a fraction of the size of CAT, but you have to be impressed with the numbers coming from Manitowoc's (MTW) crane business. Here's a company that was written off as a casualty of the industrial slowdown, and now there is no slowdown. That's how you get a stock to rally 70% in a year, and it's probably not done going higher.
Or how about Illinois Tool Works (ITW) ? Not that long ago, its stock fell dramatically because of worries about its auto business, but there is so much more to this company, including fasteners, welding, all within the context of learning its customers' needs. Of course, when it turned out that auto sales were stronger than we thought, this stock took off, although I would argue it should have never been down in the first place. (Illinois Tool Works is part of TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.)
Deere (DE) is another company that we thought was cyclical, a total hit or miss depending upon where we are in the agricultural cycle. But with a company that has taken out tremendous costs and a business that is worldwide where one or two markets always seem strong, you don't get the boom/bust we are so used to.
Finally, there's Cummins (CMI) , which missed big last week when it reported because of quality problems. Management explained the issues well on the call along with telling you that many of their businesses are up more than 20%. It's hard to believe that after its disappointing numbers it is almost back to its 52-week high, but it, too, is part of the industrial bull market that no longer lets up because of the worldwide synchronized growth that keeps taking people by surprise, in large part because we can't recall ever seeing this kind of global recovery, a true rising tide that is lifting all industrial boats.