FedEx, UPS Lead Heavy Truck Traffic on I-95

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- My wife and I began our trip from Tampa, Fla., to New Jersey on Aug. 14. The first two hours were pre-dawn and we passed four rest areas, two on the northbound side of I-75 and two on the southbound side. All four were crowded with truck drivers resting before renewing their deliveries when the sun began to rise.

By the time we crossed over to I-95 north of Jacksonville, Fla., we noted that truck traffic was much heavier than our last trip in mid-May.

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FedEx  (FDX)  is under the cloud of potential charges of drug trafficking for alleged delivery of prescription drugs with invalid prescriptions. However, when travelling north on I-95, I saw that the company's trucks outnumbered United Parcel Service (UPS) trucks by a three-to-one margin.

UPS has reported potential data breaches, but on our return trip south on I-95 on Aug. 19, its trucks outnumber FedEx by a margin of three to two.

By the numbers, UPS is twice the size of FedEx with a market capitalization of $90 billion, but FedEx employs 231,000, compared with 213,000 for UPS.

UPS has 103,000 vehicles, compared with 62,000 for FedEx. These two giants leave the other truckers by miles on and off I-95.

Among the smaller truckers on the road, Landstar (LSTR) and Werner Enterprises (WERN) were tied for third place in trucks I observed. Both are involved in logistics services, and so many unmarked trucks on the road could have been carrying loads expedited by independent agents representing the two truckers.

Con-way (CNW) set a multiyear high last week, but its depot in the southern part of North Carolina off I-95 was loaded with trucks not on the road.

Here are the profiles for the 10 companies in today's two "crunching the numbers" tables.

Con-way ($51.36) is up 29% year to date, and it set a multiyear intraday high at $52 on Aug. 19. The weekly chart is positive but overbought with its five-week modified moving average at $49.82. Semiannual and monthly value levels are $46.47 and $45.97, respectively, with a weekly pivot at $49.21.

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FedEx ($149.79) is up 4.2% year to date, and it set an all-time intraday high at $155.31 on July 17. The weekly chart shifts to negative given a close on Friday below its five-week MMA at $148.68. Quarterly and monthly value levels are $142.30 and $141.71, respectively, with a semiannual pivot at $148.81.

Heartland Express (HTLD) ($23.60) is up 20% year to date, and it set an all-time intraday high at $24.23 on July 24. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $22.77. Quarterly and semiannual value levels are $20.85 and $20.19, respectively, with weekly and monthly risky level at $24.16 and $24.84, respectively.

J.B. Hunt (JBHT) ($76.44) is down 1.1% year to date after going as high as $79.79 on July 16 and hitting its 200-day SMA at $75.16. The weekly chart shifts to negative on a close on Friday below its five-week MMA at $76.16. Annual value levels are $67.62 and $55.49 with a monthly pivot at $76.33 and weekly and semiannual risky levels at $78.75 and $81.61, respectively.

Knight Transportation (KNX) ($25.15) is up 37% year to date. It set an all-time intraday high at $26.32 on July 23. The weekly chart becomes negative on a close on Friday below its five-week MMA at $24.31. Quarterly and semiannual value levels are $22.07 and $18, respectively, with a weekly pivot at $24.85 and monthly risky level at $27.68.

Landstar ($68.25) is up 19% year to date, and it traded at an all-time intraday high at $73.95 on July 23. The weekly chart shifts to negative given a close on Friday below its five-week MMA at $66.34. Semiannual and quarterly value levels are $67.20 and $67.18, respectively, with a monthly pivot at $67.96 and weekly risky level at $68.54.

Old Dominion (ODFL) ($67.48) is up 27% year to date. It set an all-time intraday high at $67.57 on Monday. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $64.71. Quarterly and semiannual value levels are $66.46 and $64.37, respectively, with a monthly pivot at $66.97.

Saia (SAIA) ($48.54) is up 52% year to date, and it set an all-time intraday high at $49.85 on Aug. 19. The weekly chart is positive but overbought with its five-week MMA at $46.46. Quarterly and monthly value levels are $46.67 and $45.31, respectively, with a weekly risky level at $49.14.

UPS ($97.90) is down 6.8% year to date with the stock below its 200-day SMA at $99.77. The weekly chart is negative with its five-week MMA at $99.05. Monthly and annual value levels are $96.41 and $80.14, respectively, with a weekly pivot at $97.10 and semiannual and monthly risky levels at $102.34 and $103.80, respectively.

Werner Enterprises ($24.98) is up 1% year to date and has been below its 200-day SMA at $25.38 since July 28. The weekly chart is negative with its five-week MMA at $25.20 and 200-day SMA at $24.05. Annual value levels are $23.77 and $19.35 with a weekly pivot at $24.37 and quarterly and monthly risky levels at $26.04 and $27.14, respectively.

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Crunching the Numbers with Richard Suttmeier: Moving Averages & Stochastics

This table provides the technical status for the stocks profiled in today's report.

There are five columns with moving average titles: Five-Week Modified Moving Average, 21-Day Simple Moving Average, 50-Day Simple Moving Average, 200-Day Simple Moving Average and the 200-Week Simple Moving Average.

The column labeled 12x3x3 Weekly Slow Stochastics shows the pattern on each weekly chart with readings from Oversold, Rising, Overbought, Declining or Flat.

Interpretations: (stocks below a moving average listed in Red are below that moving average)

Five-Week Modified Moving Average (MMA) is one of two indicators that define whether or not a weekly chart profile is positive, neutral or negative. The other is the status of the 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic.

A stock with a positive technical rating is above its five-week MMA with rising or overbought stochastics.

A stock with a negative technical rating is below its five-week MMA with declining or oversold stochastics.

A stock with a neutral technical rating has a profile that is not positive or negative.

The 200-Week Simple Moving Average (SMA) is considered a long-term technical support or resistance and as a "reversion to the mean" over a rolling three- to five-year horizon.

The 21-Day Simple Moving Average is a short-term technical support or resistance used by many hedge fund traders to adjust positions. A stock above its 21-day SMA will likely move higher over a rolling three to five day horizon and vice versa.

The 50-Day Simple Moving Average is also a technical support or resistance used by many strategists and commentators in financial TV.

The 200-Day Simple Moving Average is another technical support or resistance and I consider this level as a shorter-term "reversion to the mean" over a rolling six- to 12-month horizon.

Crunching the Numbers with Richard Suttmeier: Earnings & Where to Buy & Where to Sell

The table presents the levels at which to buy on weakness and where to sell on strength.

Value Levels, Pivots and Risky Levels are calculated based upon the last nine weekly closes (W), nine monthly closes (M), nine quarterly closes (Q), nine semiannual closes (S) and nine annual closes (A). I have one column for pivots, which is a magnet for the period shown. The columns to the left of the pivots are first and second value levels. The columns to the right of the pivots are first and second risky levels.

Investors who wish to buy a stock should use a good-until-canceled GTC limit order to buy weakness to a value level. Investors who want to sell a stock should use a GTC limit order to sell strength to a risky level.

At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

 Follow @Suttmeier

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.


TheStreet Ratings team rates FEDEX CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate FEDEX CORP (FDX) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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