Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of truck-trailer manufacturer Wabash National (NYSE: WNC) raced ahead by as much as 10.7% on big trading volume.

So what: The November tonnage report from the American Trucking Association showed seasonally adjusted truck loads rising 6% year over year. ATA's chief economist, Bob Costello, said that these numbers "point to an economy that is growing, not sliding into a recession."

Now what: Truck builder Oshkosh (NYSE: OSK) and parts maker WABCO (NYSE: WBC) also beat the market today thanks to the ATA report. Being a high-beta small cap with an 18% short-sale component, Wabash simply bounces faster than those lumbering giants -- just as it falls faster when the news is bad.

I'm not terribly interested in buying truck stocks, but that positive ATA report should be generally good news for the economy as a whole. When the trucks are rolling, factories are humming and consumers are buying.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.