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Caterpillar set to replace Boeing as top Dow performer

Oct 24 (Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc's blowout third-quarter results could help it replace Boeing Co as the top performer on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, based on their performance in the past three months.

Since reporting second-quarter results in July, Boeing's shares have risen 23.46 percent, while Caterpillar is up 21.72 percent. In the same period, the Dow has risen 7.7 percent.

Caterpillar surged 6.6 percent in early trading on Tuesday to hit a record high of $140.43, pushing the blue-chip index to an all-time high.

The world's largest construction and mining equipment maker reported profit and sales that trumped Wall Street expectations on strong demand for its construction equipment in North America and China.

All eyes will now turn to Boeing, which will report quarterly earnings on Wednesday.

"They certainly have been good stocks to have in your portfolio and their long-term investment horizons look positive," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.

Caterpillar has now topped earnings expectations for six straight quarters and revenue estimates for the third straight quarter.

The company's results show that it has turned a corner after being hit hard by falling oil and commodity prices in the last two years.

Stifel analyst Stanley Elliot said the "recovery in Caterpillar's business, now seems to be in full swing."

For Boeing, analysts expect core profit to fall 5 percent in third quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)