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Dow Companies Most Vulnerable to a Rising Dollar

As earnings season begins, investors will keep a close eye on comments from multinational companies regarding the effect of a strengthening U.S. dollar on future earnings.

Consider Chevron, for example, which said in its interim report Wednesday that its fourth-quarter earnings will be "significantly" lower from the previous quarter.

This was due, in part, to third-quarter earnings including foreign exchange gains of nearly $450 million, compared to a loss anticipated in the fourth quarter, the oil giant said.

In the past six months, the U.S. dollar index, which tracks a basket of six major currencies against the greenback, is up about 6.5 percent — the benchmark recently reached 81.5, its highest level since September 2010. Dollar strength puts pressure on corporate profits when firms repatriate foreign currency back to U.S. dollars.

Of course, the state of the economy in Europe will also be in focus, as the 17 countries that have adopted the euro have seen their currency diminish in value by about 8 percent in the last six months, making American products more expensive to buy.

Here is a look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average components with a significant international presence.

Sebastian Kroeck contributed to this report.

Follow Giovanny Moreano on Twitter: @giovannymoreano

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