With my apologies to The Police
, I'm wondering if the message isn't in a bottle, but rather a board foot. Of lumber, that is. Take a look at this chart above. It shows the price of lumber futures.
Lumber has been cascading lower in the past several days, recently breaching its October low and trading at about $168 per 1,000 board feet. Could this be signalling a fresh leg down in housing activity, TARP money and Fed MBS buying be darned? We'll see. Past declines in lumber have been a nice leading indicator of housing sector prospects.