There are probably very few who are aware of the CASS Freight Indices, yet the message that they convey is certainly something that everyone should know about. The Indices are a measurement of the monthly aggregate shipment of freight and shipment expenses paid by shippers processed by Cass Information Systems. They ultimately serve as reliable indicators of shipping activity in North America. The indices (shipment and expenses) encompass over 1,200 divisions of over 400 companies and manufacturers.
The Cass Freight Shipment Index is comprised of the actual freight shipped by 400 companies:
The Cass Freight Expenses Index is comprised of the actual freight expenses paid by the underlying companies in the index:
There has been so much talk about the US entering a recession and that (according to the ECRI at least) there is nothing that can be done to stop the onset of a recession. However, from the indicators that I look at (of which the Cass Shipment Indices are but one), there appears to be little or no evidence to suggest that the US economy is sitting on the verge of contraction (entering a recession).
If anything, it looks like growth in the US economy is about to pick up and this should be very positive for corporate cash-flows and ultimately stock prices. I guess that puts the cat amongst the pigeons!
Disclosure: I am long DIA.