Jay Bowen has a gauge for the earnings performance of companies this year: U.S. companies restricted to domestic markets, flat; U.S. companies involved in overseas markets, good; and foreign companies, better.
So among American companies, the president of Bowen Hanes recommends firms with major foreign exposure.
Companies like Caterpillar, Du Pont, and Parker Hannifin.
But, of course, he's even more impressed by the attractiveness of foreign multinationals.
"They are more leveraged to the emerging markets, and are much less dependent on the North American market," he explained.
Topping that list is BASF.
"BASF is the largest chemical company in the world, and they just raised their dividend 30 percent," he said. "They're very shareholder-oriented, yielding close to 4 percent, and involved in over a hundred countries around the world."
He also likes ABB.