Please see the statistical review below from Noel Perry, Chief Economist of the TIA on the coronavirus pandemic.  Things appear to be improving in the U.S.


Covid-19 Statistical Review – April 13, 2020

Our Daily Update on the Data and the Trends


Background:  This is another in a series of statistical reviews of the emerging data on the Covid-19 virus.  Note that our conclusions are limited to what the existing data says about the shape and severity of this crisis.  Our aim is to place the U.S. contagion in the context of the patterns revealed by the more mature Covid-19 contagions in Asia and Western Europe.  Note the data in the report comes from the day before publication hence the difference between the title of the delivering email and the report itself.

Today’s Analysis: Another favorable day.  This was despite being a weekday when following a weekend day when counts maybe unreliably low.   

Exhibit 2. shows the improvement in contagion progress registered over the past two weeks.  On 31 March, two weeks ago, fifteen of the rows in Exhibit 1. were rising (red).  Now there are only two.  In contrast, there are now 21 rows with falling numbers (yellow) against only five two weeks ago.  We now have powerful evidence of the relatively limited nature of this contagion. 

Importantly, the U.S. is down 25% on new deaths compared to the maximum documented on Thursday last. At that rate of fall, we would be within three weeks, 22 April, at or below recovery levels.  

Worldwide deaths are down by larger percentages than new cases, making the point that many of the new case gains are due to more testing than more infections.   New cases per day are down 24% from their maximum on 10 April, while deaths are down 27% from their maximum on 7 April.   We expect this contrast to increase over time as deaths are fairly reliably counted, while cases are mainly counted when significant symptoms cause the person to seek medical aid.  Certainly, many more people have been exposed, and infected, without symptoms, thus not counted.  The chart on Exhibit 3 plots the relationship between mortality rate and the percent of a population tested. One can see that mortality rates drop to 1% or less as testing rates approach and surpass 10%. 

Industrials Research Analysis

Noel Perry, Managing Director


Donald Broughton, Managing Partner


Exhibit 1.

Source:, Transport Futures


Exhibit 2

Source: Transport Futures


Exhibit 3.

Source:  J.P. Morgan


Important Disclosures

Broughton Capital, LLC is an independent, privately held, deep-data driven quantimental economics balanced with fundamental equity research, firm. Headquartered in St. Louis, with personnel in Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Nashville and Philadelphia, we travel the globe to meet with companies, their customers and vendors, and clients, as we strive to be the single best resource for transportation data and understanding the trends driving the future of the commercial transportation of goods. The material contained herein is based upon sources we believe to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate or complete.  It is published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security.  Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and subject to change as new data becomes available.

We are “The Independent Variable.”  Why? Two reasons:


  1. As is true in a mathematical equation, the independent variable drives the value, changes the value of the dependent variables.  Knowing the independent variable, allows you to solve for the value of not only the dependent variables but the value of the overall equation.  We know that through good fundamental research, high-quality data, and years of industry experience, we can literally change the value of an equity, a company’s access to capital (debt and equity), ability to merge or acquire, and even a management team or their behavior.  We know that if we do our job well, we become the ‘Independent Variable’ in a company’s future.
  2. We are Independent.  We do not work for a large commercial bank.  We are not beholden to lending relationships, or our firm’s investment holdings, or even worse – our firm’s investment bankers.  While we pride ourselves on being independent from emotion and influence, we are aware of, and guarded against falling victim to, the cognitive biases inherent in the human brain.  We are dependent on math and the power of back tested multivariable analysis, especially when balanced with wisdom of experience from those who have made decades of mistakes.  We are Variable.  Over the last several decades, we have been everything from strongly positive about to strongly negative about almost every single equity in the transportation universe.  We have built our reputation upon having an opinion, and being clear about that opinion (i.e., no one ever finishes a conversation with us and says, “I wonder what they really think?”).  We know that our opinions and outlooks may be everything from slightly flawed to completely wrong.  As a result, we consider it our professional duty to change our opinions and outlooks as the statistics, data, or evidence warrant.


Transportation stocks have the reputation for predicting the overall market #dowtransporttheory because the underlying goods flow is heartbeat of the economy.  That goods flow becomes increased (or decreased) levels of asset utilization for asset intensive transportation companies, which becomes increased (or decreased) levels of financial returns, which becomes stock price.  We believe that the stock price performance of transportation companies is only symptomatic of the underlying goods flow.