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Determining Market Trends

Matthew Horn's Profile

I'm trying to discover what overarching data CFO's and CEO's use to determine the trend of market conditions. I work for a small-medium sized company, but we are tied directly to some large OEM's. I'm feeling that my current methods are insufficient. I have recently come across a list in a 1933 produced managerial accounting book from the University of Chicago citing: 1) stock and bond prices 2)Unfilled Steel orders and pig-iron production prices 3)the condition, yield, and prices of principal crops 4) Bank clearings in York and outside New York 5) the ratio of reserves to note and deposit liabilities for the commercial banking system 6) Ration of loans to deposits in New York 7) Interest Rates 8) the flow of gold 9) foreign trade and exchange rates 10) labor conditions 11) Railroad conditions 12) Business failures 13) New building 14) Price movements of principal products 15) social and political conditions. Obviously the railroad doesn't wield the power it used to. I would say that steel has also lost most of its significance. However, other items seem to be true today as they were then. Does anyone have any data that they use regularly that seems to produce results?

Answers

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

That is a very general question. The data you use should be dictated by the industry, geography, frequency of selling internationally, customer segment, competitors in the market.... There can be so many more factors. But I would not care about the sale of steel. The first place to start is with government statistics specific to your industry, which should be available from your local trade group.
Good luck.

Matthew Horn
Title: VP Finance/Admin
Company: Modern Materials, Inc.
(VP Finance/Admin, Modern Materials, Inc.) |

The problem is that we are a service provider (coatings) inside a manufacturing industry. We are affected by everything manufacturing. As a result, I'm interested in trying to determine general market direction first, then follow with "niche industry" specific information later. The two combined are the end goal. I think I've got a handle on the "nice specific" information. It's general market direction that I want to get a feel for. Any general thoughts on assessing overall market direction would be helpful.

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