If there really are green shoots coming up, one of the early places they should be seen is in the American Trucking Association (ATA) Tonnage Index. If retail sales are going to tick up, iof inventories are going to be restocked, it has to be physically delivered.

Only not so much.  The ATA Tonnage Index declined a seasonally adjusted 2.2% in April. This is better than the  4.5% contraction in March, but still negative.

American Truckers Association chief economist, Bob Costello:

“While most key economic indicators are decreasing at a slower rate, the year-over-year contractions in truck tonnage accelerated because businesses are right-sizing their inventories, which means fewer truck shipments,” Costello said. “The absolute dollar value of inventories has fallen, but sales have decreased as much or more, which means that inventories are still too high for the current level of sales.  Until this correction is complete, freight will be tough for motor carriers.”

The rails are no better. The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reports:

“U.S. rail carload traffic in May 2009 fell 24.7 percent”, the worst y/y % decline of the recession. People that believe commodities are soaring because the economy has turned the corner should note that “U.S. rail carloadings fell in May 2009 in all 19 major commodity groups tracked by the AAR, including coal (down 89,134 carloads, or 15.8 percent); motor vehicles and equipment (down 35,674 carloads, or 52.3 percent); and metals and metal products (down 33,987 carloads, or 62.7 percent). Carloads of chemicals were down 23,147 carloads (18.3 percent) and carloads of grain were down 21,910 carloads (24.5 percent).”

For just the week ended May 30, the AAR reported the following totals for U.S. railroads: 233,195 carloads, down 26.3 percent from the corresponding week in 2008; intermodal volume of 164,916 trailers and containers, down 19.2 percent; and total volume of an estimated 24.8 billion ton-miles, down 25.1 percent from the equivalent week last year.

Green shoots? Not in the Transports yet . .




ATA Truck Tonnage Index Fell Another 2.2 Percent in April
Connie Heiss
Truckline.com May 26, 2009 4:30 PM


Rail Traffic Down Sharply in May
AAR.org, 4 Jun 2009
Tom White


See also:
Airlines May Lose $9 Billion This Year, IATA Says


Category: Economy, Markets

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

112 Responses to “American Trucking Association Tonnage Index”

  1. bdg123 says:

    Current shipments for industrial metals this past week are down 60.3% over last year. That’s right. Six-Zero-Point-Three-Percent. But Wall Street is now so entrenched in commodities trading that many metals have skyrocketed since we, the people bailed these crooks out. We are simply reliving the Enron manipulation scheme. But, instead of really reforming the markets, the government gave Wall Street more deregulation and a few slaps on the wrist for their complicity in the Enron scam.

    It’s all good.

  2. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Dow theory would seem to be instructive here. The “industrials” (much more financial services companies than when the Dow theory was conceptualized), have turned around, but the transports haven’t. The bull market remains unconfirmed. It’s much more difficult for the Fed/Treasury policies to influence non-financial services companies than it is for them to pump liquidity into the banks and quasi-industrials. Transports are more a measure of real-world economic activity. Consumer demand is down, not because the consumer is saving, but because the consumer is tapped out. That fact is reflected in transports.

  3. Bruce in Tn says:

    I have seen over the weekend estimates that consumer savings rates may increase by 1% /year for each of the next ten years…

    I tried to find it, couldn’t…but like a lot of things we read about it was a projection of the future…and how is that going anyhow…..?

  4. Bruce in Tn says:


    We’d have to be tapped out. Workers still on the job are working 1/2 hour less than a year ago, the source of wealth, home values and not savings, won’t be available to tap for years, and banks aren’t lending….we’d have to be tapped out.

  5. DL says:

    The DJ Transport index looks a whole lot better than the truck tonnage index.

  6. franklin411 says:

    “Green shoots” means simply that there are signs that the economy is moving forward; that we know there is a bottom; that we can finally start to see a way out.

    “Green shoots” doesn’t mean a V-shaped recovery in the data, Barry. You’re creating a straw man.


    BR: The argument I have consistently made here is “Less Bad” is not the same as “Good.”

    The data says “Less Bad” — it does not say “Good.”

  7. Mike in Nola says:

    Don’t worry about trucking. They will have plenty of business hauling all those new iPhones :)
    sorry greg, couldn’t help myself.

    Anyone interested in seeing live blogging from the Apple Keynote, this one works pretty well:

  8. Mannwich says:

    @Mike: Or hauling all those new “I-Phone Killers”, the Palm Pre. :-)

  9. The Macrobat says:

    Green shoots imply that there are seeds in the first place. Inventories have been falling because of continued destocking. These input indicies are raw order transport figures, and are far better leading indicators than business or wholesale inventories, which are always subject to spin doctoring by the latest talking head.

  10. franklin411 says:

    Two more observations:

    We know that January/February were absolutely ghastly for most industries. Yet the ATA index *rose* during those two months? And most industries are reporting an uptick in orders in April/May, yet the ATA index seems to be *declining* during those two months? Huh?

    Also, the rail traffic data is all Y-O-Y. Early 2008 was much better for the rails than early 2009, as the railroads shipped massive amounts of industrial materials to China. So…2009 was much worse than 2009. Wow. Someone give that guy a seegar for telling us something we didn’t already know…

  11. Bruce in Tn says:


    There are now two questions that history majors must be able to ask when they finish their degree path:

    Would you like fries with that?
    Would you like me to Supersize that?

    But at least you will have a job opening…

  12. The Curmudgeon says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I think trucking tonnage in decline is a green shoot, if it means people are rejecting consumerism, and saving more. Without consumers demanding the latest gee-whiz gadget (like Palm Pre), the whole thing falls off a cliff. The economy needs to fall off a cliff if any sustainable green shoots are to emerge.

    The underlying premise of this economy, and it’s a false one, is that the long-term growth arrow points always upwards. It is a premise that is mathematically, philosophically and historically false. Welcome to the new paradigm: Reality.

  13. Mike in Nola says:

    You’re too tough on F411, Bruce. Of course, all the history majors I knew in college wound up having to get a degree in something useful. Or deliver pizzas.

  14. cvienne says:

    @Franklin411 (12:56)

    Now you’re trying to argue the DEFINITION of “green shoots” (whether they relate to a “V” shaped recovery, or simply seeing a way out)…

    I’d argue (and I think I speak for many here) that WE SEE NO GREEN SHOOTS AT ALL! All of these things that you, the Administration, and the MSM have been “calling” green shoots are simply casually misinterpreted data…

    - You see a “deceleration” of unemployment figures and you automatically assume that we’ve turned a corner…I say that the pace of unemployment will ACTUALLY accelerate going forward (and that what ‘seems’ to be a turnaround now will prove to be a simple pause)

    - You see “better than expected” earnings for Q1…I see estimates that were written down SO FAR that there was no way they could not be beaten…But I see great challenges to repeat that going forward…

    - You see industrial “activity” picking up as a part of a NORMAL business cycle correction…I see THAT, but I also sense REGRET going forward (as I believe the inventory replenishment is going to end up languishing on warehouse shelves because there is no consumer spending)…

    - You see “positive consumer sentiment” numbers…All I see is a bounce off of massive pessimism due to a technically oversold stock market…I see pessimism returning as equities sell off again…

    - You see banks “repairing their balance sheets”…I see taxpayer money that banks are NOT LENDING…Instead they’re bidding up equity & commodity prices to fool people into recapitalizing them…I furthermore see the banks HIDING the massive amount of bad loand still on their books because the Administration let them do some accounting tricks…

    - You see China growing because it’s buying commodities…I see China sick of buying our Treasuries and deciding to spend their cash on hard assets…

    - You see government “stimulus” as good and productive…I see it as wasteful, & I see the US economy paying a STEEP PRICE for this for decades to come due to higher taxation, and disincentives…

    So NO, Franklin, the argument isn’t with regards to whether “green shoots” mean a V-recovery or not…My argument is that I SEE NO GREEN SHOOTS AT ALL, AND NEVER HAVE…

  15. Bruce in Tn says:


    Yes, in TBP, it is a green shoot. Not the stimulate and restore us the way we were green shoot, but the stable financial long term green shoot.

    Maybe they just quit shipping cars or bags of money?


    Imagining a G.M. Fire Sale

    “Of course, G.M. is reorganizing in Chapter 11 and has no plans to liquidate. Bankrupt companies regularly perform this kind of exercise to give creditors a point of comparison as they consider a reorganization plan.

    As a hypothetical exercise, though, the analysis is interesting: It found that in a fire sale, the largest United States automaker would likely yield less than $10 billion in net proceeds.”

    Yes, my taxpaying brothers and sisters…10 billion…and we just promised another 30 billion when bankruptcy was declared….

    Heh, heh, heh….we are all broke now…

  16. cvienne says:


    WAIT…there are a few “green shoots” that I see…I see “green shoots” popping up everywhere with regards to Obama’s re-election campaign…

    - I think it was GENIUS to pass an $800 billion stimulus package that essentially can be used as a “slush fund” and is held back in spending until it is known where it will attract the most votes…

    - I see giving Chrysler to the UAW and taking government control of GM as a green shoot because it essentially locks up the Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, & Indiana votes come 2012…

    - I see chastizing auto CEO’s for flying corporate jets, yet going out on “date nights” with your wife on the taxpayer money (because Oprah & the media fawn all over the “romantic” side of the idea), as a green shoot to draw in the “emos”

    - I see turning this country into a welfare state as a perfect way to get votes for your party…

    Yeah…there’s quite a few green shoots along those lines…

  17. The Curmudgeon says:


    A little protest occurred to me the other day. My little protest, and I don’t know if any others feel the same, but for what its worth, I will never buy another GM or Chrysler vehicle so long as Uncle Stupid (if DH doesn’t mind my using his aphorism) is a majority owner.

    It’s not much of a protest, because I haven’t bought a domestically-made vehicle since 1995. (Toyotas ever since the Suburban way back then).

    If I ever buy domestic again, it will be a Ford. But it may not matter. After a few years of this, Ford might not be around either:

    June 8 (Bloomberg) — Ford Motor Co. is telling lawmakers it is concerned that federal support for GMAC LLC is giving the rival auto lender cheaper borrowing costs.

    The Senate Banking Committee will examine fair treatment for Ford at a June 10 hearing about how President Barack Obama’s auto task force is restructuring the auto industry, said Justine Sessions, spokeswoman for Chairman Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat. Ford is the only major U.S. carmaker that hasn’t filed for bankruptcy protection.


    I suppose Ford losing out to GM and Chrysler’s relationship with Uncle Stupid is a green shoot, n’cest pas?

  18. franklin411 says:

    Presumably, you do not think that the economy is in permanent decline; that GDP will contract forever until it reaches $0. You must have a “green shoot” definition of your own. Let’s hear it.

  19. The Curmudgeon says:

    note: “domestically-made” should be domestically-based manufacturer, i.e., the Camry and Tundra in my driveway were both made here in the good ol’ USA.

  20. call me ahab says:

    curmudgeon Says-

    “Maybe it’s just me, but I think trucking tonnage in decline is a green shoot, if it means people are rejecting consumerism, and saving more.”

    agreed- for those of us who reject consumer culture- this site may prove interesting- adbusters-


    run by a Canadian- Kalle Lasn

  21. dead hobo says:

    franklin411 Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    You must have a “green shoot” definition of your own. Let’s hear it.

    A green shoot is an improvement. Something that decomposes at a slower rate is still decomposing. Things that decompose are not growing. Please feel free to apply this to the economy or any part of it.

  22. call me ahab says:

    meant to reference this article (same site)-


  23. franklin411 says:

    That’s a reasonable definition. I disagree with it–I think by the time we start to see growth instead of declining contraction it will be too late to make a useful call in the direction of the economy as a whole. But it’s important to note that “green shoots” means different things to different people.

    So is your definition of “green shoots” the same as Hobo’s?

  24. dead hobo says:

    franklin411 Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    That’s a reasonable definition. I disagree with it–I think by the time we start to see growth instead of declining contraction it will be too late to make a useful call in the direction of the economy as a whole.

    What are you making a ‘call’ about? When the measurements say improvement, you have improvement. If you’re making stock market guesses and comparing those to a green shoots economy, you are comparing apples and nutsacks. You ‘call’ an estimate, you measure a fact.

    A green shoot is a measured fact. You appear to be saying down is the same as up if ‘called’ properly.

  25. leftback says:

    All the data point to the Soros “inverted square root sign” recovery at best, or the Double Dip W-shaped recovery.
    Up from Armageddon levels of economic activity (-6% GDP), then flat line for a bit.

    Zero growth may feel like Green Shoots, to some. For a while. Once the pumping stops, we may see contraction.
    It’s time for some more creative destruction.

  26. ben22 says:

    What is this place coming to?

    Now even BR has to respond to Franklin’s nonsense?

    Now we are going to talk about who knows the real meaning of green shoots.

    What was once a nice place to pick up information and insight is quickly becoming just a waste of time.

  27. rickety rick says:

    dow jones transports broke significantly below the 200 day moving average in december, 1930; january, 1970; and february, 2009. the first two breaks were followed by tough markets. volatile up and down but directionless for many, many years. i think history repeats itself this go around as well. count me in cvienne’s camp.

  28. cvienne says:

    @Franklin411 (1:43)

    Thanks for your question

    I certainly don’t think the economy is in permanent decline…

    However, I do believe that we’re facing a situation that is without precedent in our nations economic history…To put that in perspective, this could be WORSE than the Great Depression…

    The main problem is CREDIT DEFLATION, and DE-LEVERAGING…It can take many years to unwind and repair…

    I have ideas on this (and I actually started writing them here but they are complex & I’ve already spent 20 minutes on them)…I’ll find an appropriate time to POST them (assuming you’ll still be around, which I hope you will be)…

    Bottom line is this…What is better for the long term health of this country will be to face up to debt burden that has accumulated after more than 30 years of bad behavior…Sadly, we still don’t seem to have the ‘collective’ will to face the hard decisions…

    I still hold hope that this President can use his immense popularity (which is a “gift”), and use it to look Americans straight in the eye and say…”Look people, I have some bad news for you, this is what we have to do, and this is probably what it’s going to mean in terms of your standard of living”…

    Many THINK he has done that already…In a way, he kind of has SAID that, but in reality the policy is to sort of “paper over” the whole thing (like his predecessors have done)…

    It’s like a doctor with a needle saying “this is gonna hurt a little”, yet never ends up sticking you with it…

  29. cvienne says:


    And yes you read that right…I think this could be WORSE than the Great Depression…

    Therefore, I’m not in the camp that says “depression is off the table”, or “the worst is behind us”…i don’t even think we’ll ‘flatline’ from here…I actually think the WORST is still in front of us, and that we need to see yet another precipitous drop to REALLY wake people up and make the correct behavioral changes…

    But I think that we, as a nation, will deal with it…We’ll have to…There will be no other choice…

  30. cvienne says:

    When Lehman collapsed and the credit markets froze up last fall, the economy “fell off a cliff” and everyone was talking about GD…

    Through massive QE and other liquidity measures, the “liquidity” issue has been addressed (but TRUTHFULLY, the only way it’s really been addressed is between the banks themselves)…

    So there remains the disconnect (to be resolved), of credit flowing to the economy (which it isn’t because the banks are still CONTRACTING credit to consumers)…

    That is a situation that is still in front of us, has yet to be dealt with AT ALL, and is why this problem will persist (and arguably, get worse)…

  31. leftback says:

    To put it another way, franklin: in the Antarctic, a SEED might germinate in the spring. But it’s not likely to make it through the PERMAFROST in order to become a GREEN SHOOT, unless they melt the POLAR ICECAPS with monetary expansion, which would not be a good idea, and then the BOND VIGILANTES would be out in force.

  32. willid3 says:

    not surprised that there isn’t much being transported any more. people aren’t buying stuff like they used to any more. and while that could be a good thing in the short term, if it continues to decline as its current pace (or heaven forbid goes back to it frantic pace again. and that is very similar to the GD, and in part why it lasted so long) , just what is going to make the economy grow? business isn’t going to invest with out an able consumer, which are in decline today. and they haven’t done much of that in a decade any way, been to busy expanding in other countries. and the states and local governments are in head long rush to retrench as much as possible. and thats leaves just who to keep every thing from sinking even faster? I doubt the Feds will do for very long. and the green shoots (from their perspective) is trying to the consumer out of their depression so they can stop spending ASAP . and the financial (wall streeters) are desperate to get some one to buy their stuff before it flames out on them again. but wall streeters have shot them selves in the foot, they have blown up what little reputation they had, and the banks have been dragged in with them.

  33. Mike in Nola says:

    lefty: is that your imitation of Chauncey Gardner?

  34. leftback says:

    I do enjoy an HOMAGE from time to time – and with MEH currently AWOL, cvienne is the STYLIST DU JOUR.

  35. leftback says:

    BTW, I should add that cvienne’s post early this morning was absolutely superb, and I agree with every word.

  36. The Curmudgeon says:

    @Ahab: I agree w/ her diatribe against neo-classical economics, but can’t abide the attack on logic. So much of ne-classical economics is logically fallacious until conflating the two is dangerous.

    Logically (and mathematically), the long-term growth rate of all organisms must equal zero, and will, else the entire universe would one day be populated with whatever organism managed to eke out a positive growth rate. Thus human organisms (and their corollary, organizations) necessarily have a long-term growth rate of zero. Simple facts like these seem lost to the neo-classicists, with their observations and logic only pertinent in limited times and spaces, which I think is what she’s alluding to.

  37. cvienne says:


    Thanks for the “thumbs up”…I guess I’m just a “conspiracy theorist”…But just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean somebody’s not SNEAKING UP on me!

    Also…even though “I” like your “Antarctica” & “bond vigilante” reference, I’m not sure Franklin will buy into it quite yet…

    He still is under the impression that BOND VIGILANTES are some kind of “mythical creature”…With your Antarctica reference, he’s going to start imagining them as some kind of abominable snowman…

    Wait until August when they see the trillion dollar price tag on healthcare with no way to pay for it…Thent they’re going to become the OBAMA-NO-ABLE SNOWMAN…:-)

  38. greg says:

    Mike in Nola and Mannwich-

    Re: your 1.00 and 1.02 postings. I’m telling BR that you guys are ganging up on me.

  39. Mannwich says:

    @greg: The emoticons were used to convey good natured ribbing. ;-)

  40. VennData says:

    It’s all autos and auto-related. As the auto industry comes back, this index is highly levered to that. The Cash-for-Clunkers and pent up demand will take care of it.

  41. Mannwich says:

    Another kick-save by Lispy Lloyd, Joltin’ Jamie, & Friends.

  42. HCF says:

    What’s up with the PPT action today

    The indices just went vertical a few minutes ago….


  43. emmanuel117 says:

    Just PPT, baby!

  44. AmenRa says:

    OT: I’m going to start playing “Here We Go Again’ by the Isley Brothers at 2:15pm and again at 2:45pm (all times are cst) during the inevitable pump sessions by the Primary Dealers. Aargghhh!!!

  45. cvienne says:

    Those “crafty” market makers sure know how to look at all the limit orders at 3:30 in the afternoon & blow out all the STOPS to their advantage!

    Must be nice to work for GS and be able to trade with taxpayer money!

  46. Mike in Nola says:


    Maybe I shoulda bought my puts Friday.

    Watched the gizmodo live blog of the event. Not that exciting and no Jobs. Evolutionary, not revolutionary. They better watch out or they’ll catch Microsoftitis :)

    Obviously trying to compete hard in the smartphone market with the price drop of the old phone to $99 to hear off the Pre and the many, many other models coming out this summer.. Trouble is, they are stuck with ATT which isn’t even yet supporting some announced features that my old Windows phones have had for years. They need to make a deal with Verizon.

    Thought the best cynical capsule commentary was here:


    The commentator is a pretty objective guy. He writes about MSFT for a living, but owns an iphone which he loves, as well as Macs and a part of his windows weekly show always winds up talking about his iphone and how badly Windows Mobile sucks and whether itunes works with this or that piece of MS hardware, like I care.

  47. dead hobo says:

    I was just imagining a fake market. That big jump was all based on economic conditions and a the stock market being a good value. Everyone just realized the errors of their ways and simultaneously bought a lot of stock.

    I wonder is Pavlov’s Computers took the hint and followed through with a second buying frenzy? We shall see.

    Somebody must really be holding the bag in overpriced stock that was accidentally bought in a market that was accidentally hopped up. HO HO HO.

  48. greg says:


    Ok, I won’t tell BR then. By the way, the little surge in the market is me loading up on Apple stock.

  49. I-Man says:

    Bunch of bumbaclot bullshit right here…

  50. Mike in Nola says:

    So how did they put up the NASDAQ w/ AAPL still negative?

  51. Mannwich says:

    Was there some green shoots news that I missed or are the insiders being tipped off ahead of some big announcement coming this evening? I’m guessing it’s the latter. Wow, quite the reversal after a complete day of steady selling.

  52. Transor Z says:

    Okay, “green shoots.” What is?

    Is metaphorical harbinger of spring, a reference to visible garden events that signal an end to winter and the imminent thawing and arrival of fertile spring.

    I submit that “green shoots” is only relevent as a binary — IS TRUE/ IS NOT TRUE — phenomenon as used in this metaphorical sense.

    Further, I suggest taking BB at his word and holding him to visible signs of thaw at the time he spoke on 60 Minutes. That was when he claimed he could see “green shoots” and that is the correct time frame for judging the statement’s accuracy. The statement was made on Sunday, March 15, not coincidentally less than a week before the vernal equinox.

    We are now in late spring by the regular calendar and should be seeing leaves on the fucking trees, if BB cares to wax poetical and strain his metaphor further.

    “I see trees of green, red roses too/ I see them bloom for me and you/ And I think to myself/What a wonderful world . . .”

  53. karen says:

    more good news:

    Credit Card Delinquencies In 1Q Jump 11% From Year Earlier
    3:34 PM ET 6/8/09 | Dow Jones

    BOSTON (Dow Jones)–Delinquencies on plastic issued by banks jumped in the first quarter from a year ago as strapped borrowers used their tax refunds to meet daily expenses instead of paying down their credit card balances.

    For the first three months of the year, the delinquency rate in the U.S. rose to 1.32% for consumers who were three months or more behind payments on their cards, up 11% from 1.19% a year earlier, according to a report published Monday by credit-reporting bureau TransUnion LLC. The delinquency rate for the first quarter jumped 9.1% from the previous quarter.

    Higher delinquencies, fueled by rising unemployment and the economic slump, force issuers to squirrel away capital to reserve for potential losses; ultimately, companies must write off loans if customers can’t pay up. That could mean more trouble for card issuers such as Citigroup Inc. (C), Bank of America Corp. (BAC), American Express Co. (AXP), Capital One Financial Corp. (COF), Discover Financial Services (DFS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM).

    In addition, the report comes amid sweeping new restrictions on credit card companies that would ban extra fees and fluctuating rates. The new legislation, passed last month, is expected to bite into industry profits.

    “As expected, bankcard delinquencies increased in the first quarter both as a national average and in most areas of the country,” said Ezra Becker, director of consulting and strategy in TransUnion’s financial services group, in the research note. “This increase could be an indication that tax refund checks, typically used to pay down balances in during the first quarter in years past, are now being used to cover daily living expenses.”

    Delinquencies were the highest in Nevada, followed by Florida and Arizona, states where large swaths of homeowners are also struggling with foreclosures.

    These statistics were culled from about 27 million individual credit files. TransUnion predicts the 90-day delinquency rate for credit cards issued by banks will rise to 1.7% by the end of the year.

    -By Aparajita Saha-Bubna, Dow Jones Newswires; 617-654-6729;

  54. I-Man says:

    This is all you need to know, thanks for posting, zerohedge.


    Its a disgrace to capitalism.

  55. rootless_cosmopolitan says:

    “But I think that we, as a nation, will deal with it…We’ll have to…There will be no other choice…”

    This famous “we” of the imagined community “nation” (Benedict Anderson), which suggests everyone, whether rich or poor, owning and investing or selling his/her labor force, creditor or debtor was sitting in the same boat. Well, I don’t intend to be a part of this “we”. I don’t see that I share the same interests with 300 million people, mostly total strangers to me, just because they live within the borders of the same country by chance or circumstance. Thus, the nationalist mobilization to solve the crisis of capital accumulation for the owning and investing class and to bring this country forward in competition to the other countries on this planet to maintain the United States dominance in the world, will have to take place without me.


  56. greg says:

    Mike in Nola-

    Nasdaq up on the surge in Palm I think. Oh wait, never mind. :>)

  57. dead hobo says:

    Volume appears kind of non-existent today. Do you think the price was just one bank using two accounts, basically selling to itself at a higher price to pump things up a bit. Maybe the suckers will jump in and buy everything in sight just so as not to lose out?

  58. Mannwich says:

    @karen: Wow, those credit card deliquency stats are really bad. Think this will get worse before it gets better as it becomes more and more socially acceptable to default on one’s debt once more and more people discover their neighbors, friends and family are doing it too. Kind of like the debt binge of the past 20-30+ years. Hey, it must be OK if everyone else is doing it. Might as well just not pay it. Who cares about credit scores anymore, especially for those who’ve had their homes foreclosed on. They’re screwed anyway credit-wise. Might as well party like it’s 1999 until the spigot is shut off for good.

  59. AmenRa says:

    These moves in the market are why no one believes in the MSM anymore. They’re too afraid to “call them out” and expose the sham. Whoever came up with CNBC-I hit the nail right on the head. If you’re playing the short side just remember to exit your trade before the last hour of trading.

  60. Mannwich says:

    Bloomie attributing the rise to Krugman saying the recession to end in Sept. This should do wonders for Krugman’s fragile ego [snark on].


  61. call me ahab says:


    Kalle Lasn is an Estonian born Canadian- he is the mind behind “adbusters” and “culture jamming”- main target is corporations and their attempt to control the minds and emotions of the consuming public-
    excerpt defining who they are-

    “We are a global network of culture jammers and creatives working to change the way information flows, the way corporations wield power, and the way meaning is produced in our society.”

    they pretty much reject consumer culture and the pervasive use of advertising to shape our wants and desires and were the one’s behind “Buy Nothing Day” to replace “Black Friday”- much animosity towards product branding-


  62. AmenRa says:


    I heard that comment. Talk about clueless anchors. They still don’t get it even after seeing the jump in the markets at the close for the past few weeks.

  63. I-Man says:

    I and I should have just stuck with carpentry… at least in that craft the rules never change. An inch is always an inch.

    In this piece of shit racket, I-Man doesnt even know any more… might as well go long here and wait for them to stick it to me in the other direction. You know its coming soon.

    The worst part is, they’re trading against me with my own f*cking money.

  64. leftback says:

    I-Man: Certainly can feel the frustration, and the disconnect between the macro and the market. Wait for the TARP repayments, and then Jamie and Lloyd will stop burning the shorts and start punishing Johnny Retail.

    Time to turn off the noise and look at the charts, right now it’s going “from the bottom left to the upper right” (Thank you, Dennis). That means we can wait for a lower high and a lower low before we get busy again with Mister Shorty. At least the $ has made its move off the bottom for the time being which means that the commodity rally must be about done and the market will follow soon enough.

  65. hopeImwrong says:

    Awesome action from 3pm on.

    Risk is high, but bears are not in control yet (but they think their time will come – until their confidence is more shaky, I can’t expect big downside). What happens if any swoon is just a reload for a push to higher highs? Just to frustrate the bears?

    Strange how low the max pain if for SPY Jun expiration: $81!

  66. Mannwich says:

    This might put a crimp in the green shoots meme. Liquidation ahead for Chrysler?

    The Supreme Court delayed Chrysler’s sale to Fiat at the request of several Indiana pension funds and consumer groups that are opposed to the transaction. Ahead of the decision, Chrysler and the federal government warned such an intervention might lead to the liquidation of the auto maker. But the high court, in a brief order, said it will extend a temporary stay put in place by an appeals court until it has the chance to receive and review routine appeals from groups opposed to the sale.

  67. tagyoureit says:


    An inch is an inch? How fast is that ruler traveling relative to me? How big is an inch in a black hole?


  68. call me ahab says:

    a bit hard to believe that Krugman could cause such immediate hysteria- camouflage-

    impossible to trade- except- to go long @ 3:30 of every day

  69. The Curmudgeon says:

    Thanks Ahab…I’m going to add those guys to my blog list. With the rampantly promoted notion that stuff can buy happiness, it’s sometimes hard to imagine that the country was first settled by a group (the Puritans) that lived just as adbusters advocates. Of course, the Cavaliers (the Virginia Colony) followed shortly thereafter, seeking nothing but money and glory, but I well respect the Puritans more than they these days. Without the witch burnings (whose frequency and causes were vastly exaggerated in histories of the time) the Puritans had quite a few good ideas. Like understanding that more stuff doesn’t make you happier, no matter how many times someone tells you otherwise.

  70. ben22 says:

    count em folks:

    23 emails today about getting into the rally!

    Who knows if it cracks this month, maybe not until July or later in the year but the bear market isn’t over. IMHO, not by a long shot.

  71. call me ahab says:

    mannwich Says-

    “Chrysler and the federal government warned such an intervention might lead to the liquidation of the auto maker.”

    man- I wish Chrysler would just fade away already- all the drama- pinning their hopes in Fiat- what a fucking joke

  72. leftback says:

    I don’t think we need the Salem witch trials, just the Wall Street Perp Walks.

  73. leftback says:

    “23 emails today about getting into the rally!”

    These would be your most savvy market-timing inwestors, right?

  74. I-Man says:

    Sorry for the rant you guys. I guess I need to get outta here for awhile. Its just been bugging the shit out of me. Its not even about my short positions, just the principle of the thing. Whats the point of reading the tape if someone is Bob Ross-ing the shit everyday at 3pm?

    The tape seemed so true and back to normal for a moment… then I remembered… oh yeah, its a rigged game now… just buy SSO at 2:45pm everyday. All you need to know about tape reading this year.

    For all the lurking rookie traders on this board:

    Dont think. You think you’re dead in this tape. Just do what JPM and GS do. You’ll be fine.

  75. karen says:

    ben, that makes even me dizzy! i just looked at the calendar… July 3 is a friday… maybe that will be our euphoric 1050-1100 day…

  76. ben22 says:

    These would be your most savvy market-timing inwestors, right?

    Well, of course they are, that’s why they are coming out now, instead of March. They “saw on the news things were getting better so maybe it’s time to get back in” one said “the mall was packed this weekend, people are spending again” I think Franklin sent a mass e-mail to all my clients. Damn you Franklin!

    On a better note,

    UUP purchases are now at a tiny gain. Early, but as LB pointed out above, they will all trade again as one market soon.

    The market should let me unload my remaining longs very soon. I’ll be getting short with a few people here but I’m still looking for 965-1k first. Been a great year so far, lets see if I can keep my gains until 12/31, long year ahead of us.

  77. call me ahab says:

    definitely not euphoric- it’s a machine like march upward- no emotion- just calculating rip off artists using free money to game the market- shit- they are the market

  78. hopeImwrong says:

    Does the end of day big move in the market screw up mutual funds (redemptions?), as they have to sell during the day, (toward the end of the day, but) not on the last tick.

  79. ben22 says:


    yeah my mood has been worse than sour today.

    July seems as good a time as any doesn’t it?, maybe the holiday will provide just enough euphoria (see: foolishness) to get us there.

    Hard to say if it will be that early in the month though. According to my almanac July is the best performing month for the DOW and S&P in the 3rd quarter.

  80. [...] The Baltic Dry Index is up, but there is no sign of recovery in truck and rail volumes.  (Research Reloaded , Big Picture) [...]

  81. leftback says:

    July 1, 2 new Q3 and monthly fund flows. Don’t want to short into that.
    So, after the holiday weekend, fade the euphoria and complacency. We may be near 1000 by then, nice set-up !!

  82. DonRobbie says:

    Re: the truck tonnage stats.


    In 2002, the U.S. economy-measured by Gross Domestic Product-was one-third larger than in 1993 (see figure). The economy’s strong growth-3.3 percent annually-spurred the growth of freight shipments. During this period, the value of freight shipments grew 45 percent by value at an average rate of 4.2 percent annually (both adjusted for inflation), in part because of the faster growth rates of wholesale trade and retail trade sales. Tons and ton-miles of freight shipments grew more slowly-18 and 24 percent respectively-because of the relatively slower growth of the manufacturing sector and increased production of lighter weight goods.

    Changes in patterns of goods production and trade (in which manufacturing and assembly operations are often located in different countries), increases in consumer demand for rapid delivery of goods, and a rise in international trade have contributed to the growth in freight tonnage and ton-miles. Also, continued shifts in the U.S. and world economy toward more services and high-value, low-weight products such as laptops, cell phones, and handheld personal computing devices are influencing the commodity mix and modal choice even as overall freight shipments rise. For example, electronic and electrical equipment have a much higher value per ton ($18,000) than wood products ($430), are more likely to move by truck or air courier service, and frequently travel farther (612 miles per ton) than the lower value per ton wood products (355 miles per ton) (CFS 2002).

    In 2002, a ton of goods shipped was valued at $637, a 7-percent increase over $597 in 1993 (both in chained 2000 dollars). Higher value shipments (more than $1,000 per ton) accounted for 75 percent of the value of overall 2002 shipments, up from 71 percent in 1993. Because these high-value goods are lighter products (e.g., pharmaceuticals, precision instruments, and textiles) they accounted for just about 13 percent of the tonnage and 18 percent of the ton-miles in 2002, both within 3 percentage points of the corresponding figures in 1993 (see figure).

    So there is a secular trend for GDP per unit of tonnage to move higher. One thing I wonder is how the change of relative strength of different sectors affects the relationship of freight tonnage to GDP. For example, I’d suspect the housing boom produced more of a move in tonnage than the tech boom.

  83. scm0330 says:

    When F411 is reduced to arguing that green shoots “mean different things to different people,” it is not a good day for him, and I see that he has retired. Probably a trip to the gym, or library time, beckoned. Completely apart from Franklin’s inchoate ramblings, I find curious is how the seemingly relentless march upward of the market will reconcile with an economy that remains in the oxygen tent.

  84. dead hobo says:

    hopeImwrong Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Does the end of day big move in the market screw up mutual funds (redemptions?), as they have to sell during the day, (toward the end of the day, but) not on the last tick.

    I suspect mutual funds buy and sell as they feel is appropriate. Redemptions usually occur at the end of day price. This means if someone pumps the market you, as a shareholder of a fund, benefit if selling and are stolen from if a buyer.

    I don’t think the SEC gives a shit.

  85. hopeImwrong says:

    I almost have hope we will see the dive this month. Everyone seems to be giving up on the short side (“wait it out, don’t fight the tape, it’s going higher, it won’t go down til later”). J6P can buy on the way down. After all, “stocks are cheaper” after a down day.

    The irrationality of the market is wearing the bears out! This is a good sign if you are a bear. The tone of this board changed at the end of last week, and seems to be further down the frustration curve today. Our Big Picture Blog Comments Sentiment Indicator™ (BPBCSI™) is flashing a sell signal. There is not a long history for this indicator, so we aren’t sure how extended it can get, but it is in sell signal territory. Adjust your portfolios (risk) accordingly. Protect profits on the long side now.

  86. ben22 says:

    I doubt MF’s have any issues right now with redemptions. TD put up the mf fund flows charts about two weeks ago at Zero Hedge, they were quite positive in terms of money coming in as I recall.

    I know a new fund that was launched in Feb focused on American Recovery and Infrastructure has had an average of $75 million of net inflows per week since it opened through May month-end. The fund is up 20% on the year, so no, Joe and Nancy aren’t selling that one.

    As was shown in the investors allocation survey the cash levels jumped really high in Mid March, since then it’s been a climb back towards risk assets. It will only be fitting that this bear sees record demand for cash and cash equivalents so look out below for the green shoots crowd when the peak of the countertrend rally is made.

  87. Onlooker from Troy says:


    re: “Think this will get worse before it gets better as it becomes more and more socially acceptable to default on one’s debt once more and more people discover their neighbors, friends and family are doing it too. Kind of like the debt binge of the past 20-30+ years. Hey, it must be OK if everyone else is doing it. Might as well just not pay it. Who cares about credit scores anymore, especially for those who’ve had their homes foreclosed on. They’re screwed anyway credit-wise. Might as well party like it’s 1999 until the spigot is shut off for good.”

    Yep, I do. I thinks that’s exactly where things are going for all those folks who’ve lived on debt. If they’re all going the same way they won’t feel so bad about doing it. And the rationalization to do so is really easy in their eyes.

    Do you think that the banks have that factored into their loan loss provisions? No way. Their stupid practices of lending endlessly to anyone with a pulse is coming back to haunt them, and unfortunately all of us.

  88. willid3 says:

    Mannwich, i think it might be an uncontrolled liquidation starting 7/1 or there abouts. since their bk financing ends about them (unless the government blinks of course). which means a likely fire sale prices. assets end up worth a billion maybe. and lots of it just ends up owned by the states for back taxes in a few years. might can sell the equipment to China. at Chinese prices too. and with all of the moaning about the 798 dealers dieing off, think about all 3200 dieing. by the end of the month

  89. call me ahab says:

    Onlooker Says-

    “Do you think that the banks have that factored into their loan loss provisions? No way. Their stupid practices of lending endlessly to anyone with a pulse is coming back to haunt them, and unfortunately all of us.”

    you are on the money- as I mentioned earlier- how does savings increase when people are so in debt- easy-

    you send your house keys back to the mortgage company and stop paying your credit card bills- rent somewhere- and presto-

    you have cash left over to put in the bank- and that is exactly what I would do if I were in that position-the banks were the experts and lent to people who shouldn’t have been borrowing-

    I put the fault completely on the banks- if you have no standards- then there is no mechansim to slow down demand for credit- bank’s fault and no-one elses

  90. leftback says:

    “Our Big Picture Blog Comments Sentiment Indicator™ (BPBCSI™) is flashing a sell signal.”

    True, true. Good point here. Bear frustration IS growing, but WATCH the chart. Lower left – upper right.
    You don’t have to be a hero, when this thing goes you will know it is going to break.

    Remember that Mephistopheles will switch sides by then and it shouldn’t be difficult to spot (large vol put buying).

  91. Onlooker from Troy says:


    It would be interesting to know how much of the increased “savings” rate is really attributable to defaults on debt (and debt paydown), not on new cash sitting in accounts. Not that the net effect isn’t basically the same for the debtors, but it would be interesting just the same.

  92. Mike in Nola says:

    All you bears are crazy. Cramer says so. Only question is whether this is the greatest NASDAQ bull in a decade.

  93. Mike in Nola says:

    greg: ya seen this one about ATT screwing existing iPhone owners?


    ATT by itself may make AAPL a good short

  94. Mr. C. Cheese says:

    Truck Stop Hooker Index……..

  95. call me ahab says:

    M in Nola-

    personal opinion- Apple is going to get its ass handed to them- they are lowering prices now- contrary to greg’s vision that they did not want the folks who are value buyers- obviously waking up to reality after seeing their internal numbers- and- realizing-

    that buying an Apple is akin to buying a Gucci bag- nice to have to impress your friends- but totally unnecessary- many substitutes out there that will do the trick at 1/3 the cost-

    their profit margins will be put through the wringer

  96. Wes Schott says:

    ahab@7:02 -

    welcome back

    cheap i-phones?

    way cool

  97. FromLori says:

    Check the Garbage…

    Follow Your Nose?

    To try and figure out which way the economy is headed, analysts keep an eye on traditional statistics like the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index, the Institute for Supply Management’s Reports on Business, and the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers. Based on the following Seattle Times editorial, “Economic Indicator: Garbage,” maybe they should just follow their nose?


  98. call me ahab says:

    from Jesse’s Americain Cafe-

    The volumes remain thin, and the market appears to be in the control of the big trading desks, flush with TARP money, and the demimonde of hedge funds and daytraders.

    Be in this market for the short term only, or not at all. The manipulation of certain funds, options and indices makes this a ‘professionals only’ market.

    “Let’s see if any serious support breaks, ahead of the second quarter earnings. The mainstream media is preoccupied with bread and circuses, and the financial news media is an extended informercial, if not propaganda machine.

    There is no economic recovery, only a paper chase. The Obama Administration is failing to take the next steps of creating an industrial policy that places the US labor force and economy on an equal footing with the rest of the world, and reforming the financial system which is unbalanced to the point of deformity and inefficient to say the least.”

  99. Mike in Nola says:


    actually the iPhones are pretty nice. Trouble is you get an expensive ATT contract.

    I believe Barry gave up his because reception was so bad. My sster in law here in Houston has one but had to keep stopping on the side of the road to text her husband because the calls kept dropping. This was while she was still inside the Beltway, which is certainly not rural. Her daughter has one and she and my daughter were out of touch for a couple of hours while evacuating to Houston from LA while Hurrcane Gustav was approaching last year.

    The other drawbacks to me are not keyboard, so I can’t dial while doing 70, and being at the mercy of iTunes for software. Most people don’t mind the latter, but I have sort of a hacker mentality and like to pimp out my phone the way I like it, not like someone else thinks it should be.

    Actually, that last has long been my theory of why the Windows user base is 30 time as big as the Mac base. Wiindows is sort of a market based solution in contrast to Mac’s “command economy” model. With the Wintel open platform, you have a huge choice of hardware and software. MS does not try to control what software gets written or put on PC’s. Yeah, it leads to malware, but it also leads to tremendous flexibility and creativity.