Signs of economic health could be coming from the railroad.
Over the past year, the transportation exchange-traded fund, iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average , outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 index.
"It suggests that earnings are accelerating, economic activity is accelerating," says Joe Terranova of Vitrus Investment Partners. "The earnings for the rails have been very strong."
As CEO of railroad king Norfolk Southern , Wick Moorman tells the Money desk that business has been picking up since the second-quarter of last year. He says the Norfolk, Va.-based company transports good for all aspects of the economy and things have been "steady as it goes." Customers, however, are a little apprehensive and aren't making any substantial changes in terms of expansion or cut backs.
Moorman says Norfolk Southern has been hiring though. With the services name being down 6% last year in the composite service index, the railroad sees the need of allocating more resources to perform better. When financial crisis hit the company 18 months ago, Moorman says they had to cut a lot of resources. Things have started to turn around though, so the company is now hiring and trying to get service numbers to where he thinks they need to be.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page