When These Companies Recover, We Recover

The signs of the turnaround will come from everyday businesses
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2009 10:44 AM CST
In this Nov. 27, 2007 file photo, a shopper enters a two-level Staples store in Los Angeles. Staples is considered an economic indicator for the health of small business.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)
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(Newser) – The companies best-positioned to weather the recession are market-share leaders or those that sell everyday necessities, writes Douglas A. McIntyre in Newsweek. But the economic bellwethers that will herald the recovery are more likely No. 2 or No. 3 in their industries, like Target, whose quarterly numbers should indicate when consumers are ready to buy retail again. A few more to watch:

  • Starbucks: When the bastion of middle-income beverage shows improvement, modest discretionary spending is rebounding.
  • Staples: An improvement in sales at this office supply chain means small businesses—the most difficult to gauge—are gearing up.
  • CBS: When marketers ratchet up ad dollar spending, it indicates corporations see better days ahead.
  • E*Trade: A rising asset-per-customer number means individual investors are ready to wade back into stocks, a good sign for everyone.