After soaring 70% last year, Dow stock Caterpillar is quietly sinking. Here’s why that matters

What ever happened to "synchronized global growth?"

Nobody is suddenly looking for economic recessions in new corners of the globe. But amid a weakening in some global economic data relative to activity in the U.S., there's no question that a handful of stocks that has been trading within with the "synchronized global growth" theme has begun underperforming.

Since many people were positioned for continued synchronized global growth into this year, the unwinding of that trade could be an important story in the coming months. Caterpillar's performance this year is a great example of this, and its drop in recent months may be illustrative of a pickup in the rotation out of multinationals and into small-cap, domestic-focused names.

Caterpillar's run

Caterpillar, along with other industrial, multinational names like Honeywell and 3M, has not acted well as of late. After rallying 70 percent, and another 8.5 percent in the first three weeks of the year, the stock is negative this year and trading firmly in correction territory from its January high.

While we do not cover the stock fundamentally, given the U.S. dollar's recent rise and some weaker economic data around the world, it's no surprise that the stock has stalled out after such a strong run.

We don't want to raise any major warning flags at this juncture, but it is worth noting that its recent drop is taking it down toward its trend line from the stock's early 2016 lows. The level to watch, in that case, is just about $144 per share.

Ultimately, the chart does not look horrible; the stock would have to see another leg lower and take out key support before I'd turn negative on a technical basis. This is, however, a name I'll be keeping an eye on as we move through the rest of June.

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Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET). In addition, he contributes to CNBC and CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

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