U.S. investors are clearly going through a crisis of confidence, as the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) opened Tuesday to their third-straight daily decline. While the Dow managed to crawl four points into the green as of 11 a.m. EDT, stocks in emerging markets are much stronger today, with sharp gains pointing to the potential for long-awaited rebounds in China, Brazil, and other key countries. That has positive implications for Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), which are both gaining ground this morning.
Gains overnight in Shanghai and Hong Kong could signal some relief for struggling heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar, which rose 1.6%. Chinese economic headwinds have held back a key component of Caterpillar's overall global business strategy. Although Caterpillar is far from the only member of the Dow Jones Industrials with a hand in China, the role that Chinese construction, infrastructure, and mining activity has on the company's overall revenue growth has been extremely important. Some fear that China's bounce is coming from a deliberate choice to weaken the yuan against the U.S. dollar, a move that has attracted attention from government officials in Washington. Yet no matter how it comes about, a renewal of Chinese growth could allow Caterpillar to resume its own turnaround story after 2013's poor stock performance.
Intel gained 1.8%, building on its upgrade-driven gain from Monday. Intel also has a lot riding on the health of emerging markets, as its mobile-chip strategy depends on being able to sell its chips within midrange and lower-end smartphones in areas where wireless network access is only now catching up to the rest of the world. Moreover, even as personal computers see less demand in developed markets, emerging markets have the ability to buy up PC technology on the cheap; that could allow Intel to keep reaping rewards from its PC-processor dominance. Combined with its recent decision to separate out promising opportunities in its mobile and Internet of Things segments, Intel wants to refocus its efforts on the most promising areas of the world and the most lucrative technological advances available.
It's true that emerging markets have had rebounds before, only to keep dropping despite ongoing gains for the Dow Jones Industrials. But focusing solely on the Dow can lead you to miss out on great investing opportunities. Keeping a wide worldview can clue you into trends that others will miss, and that can add to your long-term returns.
Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.