Some metrics make all the sense in the world when you hear them, the challenge is knowing to look for them. When I first read the Barron’s article cited below the only thing that really jumped out at me is that I had not really considered fluctuations in name badges (not exactly where my mind wanders when idle…).
The article quotes Imprint Plus CEO Marla Kott’s observation that on a rolling 12-month basis “[Imprint Plus] badge sales are two months ahead of the Dow’s performance.” In other words, if the company has a bad month, it will be reflected in the Dow’s performance approximately two months later.
The article elaborates:
“This apparent correlation isn’t surprising, perhaps. Kott notes that Imprint’s business is tied to employment. If companies are anticipating growth, then they are hiring and giving their new employees new badges. And the Dow commonly moves on official jobs numbers. ‘Increased badge sales suggests hiring is going up,’ she adds.”