Leading Indicators
A Compendium Of Revealing Stats
By Oliver Ryan FORTUNE reporter

(FORTUNE Magazine) - WEB VIDEO

25 million

Number of videos viewed on Feb. 27 by visitors to video-sharing website YouTube.com. The number has been growing 16% a week since early November, fueled by three- to five-minute home movies and excerpted TV spots. YouTube began running ads on its site last month.

EXPLORATION

6.4

Depth in miles of the Knotty Head prospect, the deepest offshore oil well ever drilled in the Gulf of Mexico, about 170 miles southeast of New Orleans. On Dec. 20 the well, funded by a partnership including Anadarko (Research), BHP Billiton (Research), Chevron (Research), and Nexen (Research), struck oil.

COMMODITIES

$10.22

Closing price for one ounce of silver on the New York Mercantile Exchange on March 2--the first time silver has topped $10 since 1984. On Feb. 2, gold hit a 25-year high. The rising price of precious metals vindicates patient investors like Warren Buffett, who is reportedly still holding over 100 million ounces of silver he bought in the late 1990s, when the price was closer to $5 an ounce.

WEATHER

754%

Increase in volume of futures contracts on New York City weather traded at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (Research) in 2005 over 2004. The notional value of NYC contracts traded last year was $7.2 billion; the total for all weather contracts on the CME came to $36 billion.

EXECUTIVE COMP

$21.5 million

Total 2005 compensation, according to a preliminary proxy filed March 1, for Citigroup chairman Sanford Weill, who stepped down as CEO in 2003. The total includes a $9.9 million bonus, $901,000 to pay some of his taxes, and $525,000 for "transportation." Charles Prince, Weill's successor, earned $23 million in 2005. Citigroup (Research) shares were up 1% for the year.

SOURCES: YOUTUBE.COM; CHICAGO MERCANTILE EXCHANGE; BLOOMBERG; COMPANY FILINGS  Top of page

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