Boeing, Caterpillar and Exxon are leading the Dow higher — here's how to trade them

The Dow Jones Industrial Average just surged to another all-time high, and some investors say the index's top-performing members in the past month have more room to run.

The Dow has gained a little less than 4 percent in one month, while its top performers — Boeing, Caterpillar, Pfizer, Exxon and newest member Walgreens — have soared as much as 14 percent in that period.

Of the five leaders, Exxon looks best-positioned to continue rallying as the energy sector has "sprung back to life," said Newton Advisors founder Mark Newton. He's encouraged by what he sees as lagging energy stocks starting to catch up to rising crude oil prices.

"Exxon just now this week is set to break above almost a four-year downtrend coming from the middle part of 2014, so it's not at all new all-time highs, like stocks like Boeing, but it's a much better risk/reward in my view, with a surging energy sector," Newton said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." He also noted that the energy sector managed to hold in positive territory despite a reported build in oil supply.

"It still looks like the momentum can carry this higher," he said.

Chantico Global CEO Gina Sanchez said Walgreens may be the best among the five for investors to consider now. She likes its defensive qualities.

"If you look at where we are likely to shift, we are already starting to see companies guide down, and I think this resumption of growth appetite, [that's] going to be a dead-cat bounce. I think in six months' time we're going to be looking at slower growth, and we're going to be looking more toward value and better valuation, so more defensive stocks," Sanchez said Wednesday on "Trading Nation."

Walgreens shares closed higher on Wednesday at $73.80 per share, and Exxon shares closed lower at $86.15 per share.

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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

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 CNBCand 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.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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