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By now, you know I'm absolutely crazy about data. I've got tons of it - years of price records on the best stocks on the S&P 500... years of earnings data... proven, backtested patterns, and a lot more.
All that data is one of the reasons why we do so well with our trading.
News networks like data, too, but they don't have the same variety and depth of data I've got at my fingertips. Nowadays, they're focused exclusively on every upcoming jobs and GDP report they can get their hands on.
Here's the thing - by themselves, those reports aren't worth paying much attention to, let alone basing your trading decisions on them.
But in the right context, these data can confirm or predict trends. Last week, for instance, I mentioned that quarterly earnings could point the way to a recession by March 2017.
Today I have to tell you that that recession is looming even larger on the horizon, so we'll want to alter our trading accordingly.
You see, I'm looking at another piece of data, an indicator, used by some of the most successful traders in the business, to see exactly how the economy is doing in real time.
This is incredibly accurate, and you don't have to have special access to anything to take a read on this powerful indicator, either.
It's as easy looking out your car window...
When These Guys Stop Moving, So Does the Economy
When it comes to investing in the stock market, one or more crucial industries can point to the state of the broader economy - and where it's headed.
And, believe it or not, the big rig trucking industry offers one of the best real-time indications of how "healthy" the economy is right now.
Trucking is an absolutely vital part of our economy. Pretty much everything we need in terms of goods and supplies needs to be transported from producer to seller so that you and I can buy them to live.
Raw resources from mines and farms, for example, need to be hauled to a variety of manufacturers all over the country. Medical supplies need to be delivered to hospitals, healthcare facilities, retail stores, and wholesalers. And, for obvious reasons, waste removal is a necessary use of trucks.
So it follows that the more big rigs you see on the highway transporting goods, the more the economy is strengthening.
After all, when companies are selling more of their products, it generally means that consumer confidence is high and people are spending more of their money. This is great news for the trucking industry - and even better news for the economy.
About the Author
Tom Gentile, options trading specialist for Money Map Press, is widely known as America's No. 1 Pattern Trader thanks to his nearly 30 years of experience spotting lucrative patterns in options trading. Tom has taught over 300,000 traders his option trading secrets in a variety of settings, including seminars and workshops. He's also a bestselling author of eight books and training courses.