I love bargain stocks, especially when they're hitting 52-week lows. Still, it can be instructive to also look at stocks that are riding high. For one thing, they can make good sell candidates. More optimistically, we may be able to find a few companies that can continue their upward climbs.

In this series, I'll be searching industry-by-industry for stocks reaching 52-week highs. That way, we'll be able to make a few quick comparisons among semi-related companies.

There are 24 industry groups as defined by the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). Capital goods is one of them.

Below are the top 10 companies in this space (by market cap) that are within spitting distance of their 52-week highs.

Company

Recent Price

52-Week Low

52-Week High

P/E Ratio (Trailing)

Siemens AG (NYSE: SI)

$116.34

$82.74

$117.94

22.1

United Technologies (NYSE: UTX)

$75.01

$61.40

$77.09

16.3

3M (NYSE: MMM)

$90.90

$68.00

$91.49

16.5

Boeing (NYSE: BA)

$71.66

$47.20

$76.00

16.4

ABB (NYSE: ABB)

$22.64

$16.01

$22.91

19.2

Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT)

$79.05

$50.50

$81.20

25.8

Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR)

$54.95

$37.50

$55.25

21.3

Honeywell International

$47.53

$35.60

$48.63

17.9

Deere

$77.24

$45.20

$78.89

27.9

Danaher

$42.86

$33.80

$43.77

18.4

Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Data as of Oct. 25.

In the capital goods 52-week lows list, four defense stocks jumped out at me as possible buy opportunities.

I'm not as immediately inspired by this list, but there are a bunch of solid companies here. For example, fellow Fool David Lee Smith was impressed by Caterpillar's latest quarter. Three are rated five stars by our CAPS community -- ABB, Emerson, and 3M. And arguments could be made for many of these companies about temporarily depressed earnings and acceleration with an economic recovery. 

If you are interested in reading more about these stocks, add them to My Watchlist to find all of our Foolish analysis on them.

Anand Chokkavelu doesn't own shares of any companies mentioned. He posts his favorite articles on his Twitter feed.

3M is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. ABB is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick. Emerson Electric is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. The Fool has established a bear put spread position on Caterpillar. 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.