You win some, you lose some. The big winners one day may be the market's biggest losers the next.

That's what's happening to Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) right now. The stock has been pulling the Dow (DJINDICES:^DJI) for a couple of days, but the bulldozer ran out of gas today.

Recent good news about a healthy home construction market was overshadowed by a surprisingly high number of jobless claims, taking the wind out of Caterpillar's sails. The stock fell 1.7%, single-handedly removing 13 points from the Dow. Without this sudden plunge, the index would stand pat right now

Fellow industrial-tools maker United Technologies (NYSE:RTX) followed suit with a 1.5% price drop, or nine negative Dow points.

Oil producers largely balanced out these losses, despite reports of lower oil prices and bulging supplies worldwide. Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) combined to add 12 points to the Dow by midday. Some analysts believe the plunging oil price might be a special kind of flash crash and expect the commodity to make a full recovery.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.