I often write about trucking at TPC because of its close ties to the economy. Trucking is a good barometer of economic activity because 70% of all transported goods are moved by truck. In a consumer driven economy such as the U.S. the truckers have their finger on the pulse of the economy. YRCW, the largest U.S. trucking company says in an 8-K filed today, that the economy is not showing any signs of improvement, but there are signs of a bottom. The stock is getting absolutely murdered.
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“Economy remains very weak.
No significant signs of near-term improvement
Some indications of hitting the bottom, though too early to confirm.”
This looks like more of what we have been talking about with a “false dawn”. Things were so bad in Q4 that we almost certainly bottomed in economic terms, but the economy is likely to remain very weak going forward. As I’ve said before, the economy stalled in Q4 – it couldn’t have possibly gotten any worse without the system imploding (which it nearly did). What we’ve essentially got here is a car with a busted engine. In Q4 we ran out of gas and quickly refueled. But the fundamental issues remain. Now we’re up and running, but sputtering fumes and everyone thinks we’re off to the races. The problem is the engine is still broken and will remain so until we deal with the toxic asset problems on the bank balance sheets.