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After a slump lasting for years after the financial crisis, it appears that Caterpillar is finally getting some of its momentum back. Sales are improving as demand rises for mining and construction machines. Bob Tita and Andrew Tangel write:

The world’s largest producer of bulldozers, excavators, and other earth-moving machinery experienced widespread improvement in sales during the third quarter.

Caterpillar’s fortunes have improved over the past year after a yearslong slump caused by a downturn in the global commodities markets and a slowdown in construction. The company’s stock price has risen more than 50% over the past 12 months, gaining 5% Tuesday to close at a record $138.24.

Slow-growing economies around the world, a still-fragile mining sector and the absence of a significant infrastructure-spending plan in the U.S., however, still threaten to undermine the prolonged upturn in machinery demand that company executives and investors have been expecting.

The manufacturer based in Deerfield, Ill., said Tuesday that its dealers stepped up their purchases of equipment to restock inventories in response to rising customer demand, especially from an improving oil and natural-gas industry in North America and for large excavators in China. Construction-equipment sales in North America rose 31% from a year earlier and mining-equipment sales increased 28%.

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