If you wanted a good picture of the economy at any given moment, you could track such statistics as monthly unemployment, housing starts, the University of Michigan confidence index, the Consumer and Producer Price indices, etc.
Or . . . you could just watch Wal-Mart’s stock price.
When the economy slows or contracts — or people fear it’s going to — Wal-Mart typically does well, because budget-conscious shoppers frequent its stores more.
So, how is Wal-Mart’s stock doing these days?
As of this morning, it’s at $68.53, very close to its high for the year.