If factories are about to shed inventories, there's little hint in the recent behavior of the Commodity Research Bureau's spot-price index of industrial raw materials. Economist Edward E. Yardeni of Prudential-Bache Securities Inc. notes that the index plunged from 321.32 on Oct. 1 to 302.89 on Nov. 30 but hardly budged in December. The index's recent stability, says Yardeni, suggests that "the worst may be over and that a recovery may not be far away."
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