Stocks as Economic Barometers

March 5, 2012 James Heinsman Economic Barometer

Predicting which way the economy will go is part science, part art. And just as scientists and artists have tools to ply their trade, so too do analysts of the economic climate.

If chosen correctly stocks in companies from a variety of sectors can help get a handle on the direction the economy is likely to head. In this case we present five well-known companies whose earnings have presented themselves as harbingers of what is to come for the economy as a whole, each one painting a different view of the national economic picture.

•    Alcoa: The aluminum business supplies hints about how industrial spending is doing.

•    Pepsico: This mega company is the structure behind many ordinary food and drink products, telling us how much consumers are spending.

•    CSX: General economic activity is mirrored in how this railway freight shipper is faring.

•    Intel: Simple-how Intel is doing tells us how the technology industry as a whole is doing.

•    JP Morgan Chase: Check this important financial firm’s pulse and you will know the pulse of the nation’s financial circulatory system.
 

Alcoa, CSX, economic barometer, Intel, JP Morgan Chase,

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