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Truck Stocks Signal Recovery in U.S. Entering New Growth Phase

Companies that act as brokers for trucking services are gaining favor with investors as the 20-month-old rebound shifts into a new phase that’s less dependent on inventory restocking.

The so-called asset-lite truckers such as Roadrunner Transportation Systems Inc. and C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. lease vehicles for businesses that need to ship goods, so they have more cost flexibility than companies that own and operate most of their trucks. Shares of these brokers have risen 6.9 percent since July 30, 2010, compared with a 1.5 percent decline for operators including Celadon Group Inc. and Werner Enterprises Inc., according to two new Bloomberg indexes.