Four positive indicators paint a strong picture of the beef industry during May. But dismal signs are found in the dramatic declines in profit margins for cattle feeders and continued declines in key cattle prices. Drovers' index of economic indicators mimics the prior month with four up arrows, two down and two sideways arrows. Fewer cattle on feed, lower placements and lighter carcass weights lead the good news. Corn prices continue to decline, earning a positive arrow. Beef remains competitive in the meat case and packers boosted slaughter rates earning two more positive arrows. Broiler production increased while pork production did not, earning a sideways arrow. Unexpected beef cow slaughter continued amid lower heifer slaughter, earning a sideways arrow for the inventory indicator.