The Fastenal Company of Winona is one of five "Companies That Act as Leading Economic Indicators". That's according to the website 24/7 Wall Street.com. The site says Fastenal is front and center of the economy making and selling thousands of fasteners and industrial products. Sales in 2012 and 2013 seemed to stagnate, but February 2014 sales were up 7.7 percent from a year ago as weather problems eased. The website says the company does have retail exposure, but it often has a clear picture of what is coming months ahead on the wholesale level for the purposes of acting as a leading indicator.