The past few days haven't been kind to investors in industrial companies -- but they've been unkind in unequal measure. General Electric (NYSE:GE) reported decent earnings, but weak free cash flow on Friday, and saw its stock crash. Then Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) came out with an earnings miss and a guidance walk-back ... and investors rallied to buy Caterpillar stock.

What's behind Caterpillar's weakness? Why are investors buying it anyway ... and what does this mean for General Electric? Fool contributor Rich Smith lays it all out for you in this Fool video.

Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric Company. 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.