McDonald's (MCD), Caterpillar (CAT) and Verizon (VZ) are all major American companies that play an influential role in our daily lives. But while you may (or may not) admire and respect them, should you covet their stocks?
Recently, many investors have been increasing their stakes in all three, helping to fuel the rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) which has rallied 10% since the start of September. Investors have been enthusiastic thanks, in no small part, to strong third-quarter earnings from some of its biggest names. McDonald's, Caterpillar and Verizon all easily beat Wall Street's profit estimates last week, putting their shares oh-so-close to their respective 52-week highs.
McDonald's benefited from strong sales of specialty drinks and overseas growth, but currency headwinds and going up against its own tough comparisons could impede further share-price gains.
Caterpillar served up a beat-and-raise quarter, but after rallying 35% for the year-to-date, the valuation might be getting a bit stretched.
Verizon sports a steady 6% yield on its dividend, but payments to a partner could divert some of the gusher of cash coming out of its wireless business.
In the short video above, Dan Burrows and Nikhil Hutheesing face-off on the bull and bear cases of these three iconic companies.