The Daily Yonder's coverage of rural economic issues, including workforce development and the future of work in rural America, is supported in part by Microsoft.
Worries about interest rates, home prices and, finally, a monthly decline in the number of jobs dropped all the stock market indexes last week — and the Yonder 40 fell with the rest. The Daily Yonder’s index of 40 publicly traded companies that reflect the rural economy dropped by 2.1 percent last week.
All the indexes are down since July 1, when the Yonder 40 index began. Since then, the 40 is off by about five and a quarter percent. The S&P 500 index is down by about three and a third percent since July 1.
As always there were winners and losers within the Yonder 40 — and quite a bit of news this week about companies and the rural economy:
“¢ The Nuclear Regulatory Commission expects a spate of application for new reactors — the most since the 1970s — in the coming weeks, according to the Dow Jones news service. The NRC expects to be asked to approve 29 new reactors at 20 sites. Most of those will be in the rural South.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (at the Bellefonte site in Alabama), Duke Energy (South Carolina); Dominion Energy (Virginia) and Southern Co. (at its Vogtle plant in Georgia) are some of the firms expected to seek applications. The Southern Co. is in the Yonder 40 and was down a fraction for the week.
“¢ There was more talk of a takeover of Peabody Coal as coal stocks in general went higher. Peabody was up six percent for the week, the largest gain in the Yonder 40.
“¢ ConAgra was off only a fraction this week as investors seemed unconcerned with news stories this week that questioned the safety of microwave popcorn. The company said it planned to remove a chemical used in its buttered popcorn that has been linked to an ailment known as “popcorn lung.”
Meanwhile, six months after salmonella in Peter Pan peanut butter sickened over 600 people, the brand returned to the shelves.
“¢ Yonder 40 stalwart Wal-Mart dropped to an eight-year low this week, falling along with hopes for the economy. Wal-Mart was down nearly three percent for the week.
“¢ The meat producer Tyson Foods fell 14 percent this week — dropping 13 percent September 6 alone. Tyson cut its 2007 estimate, saying its operations were damaged by higher cattle costs.
Below is a full listing of the Yonder 40 companies and their results for the week ending September 7:
|Companies||Ticker||Price September 7||Price Change for Week||Percent Change for Week|
|Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.||BNI||$80.97||-$0.18||-0.2%|
|Peabody Energy Corp.||BTU||$45.11||$2.60||6.1%|
|ConAgra Foods Inc.||CAG||$25.52||-$0.19||-0.7%|
|Cato Corp. Cl A||CTR||$20.90||-$1.17||-5.3%|
|Deere & Co.||DE||$135.86||-$0.20||-0.1%|
|Dean Foods Co.||DF||$26.80||-$0.06||-0.2%|
|Family Dollar Stores Inc.||FDO||$28.00||-$1.28||-4.4%|
|Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.||FLE||$8.91||-$0.41||-4.4%|
|Gaylord Entertainment Co.||GET||$49.94||-$1.41||-2.7%|
|International Speedway Corp.||ISCA||$47.36||$0.28||0.6%|
|Mohawk Industries Inc.||MHK||$85.72||-$1.59||-1.8%|
|Mine Safety Appliances Co.||MSA||$46.27||-$1.65||-3.4%|
|Plum Creek Timber REIT||PCL||$40.53||-$1.40||-3.3%|
|Penn Virginia Corp.||PVA||$38.92||-$0.99||-2.5%|
|Regions Financial Corp.||RF||$30.42||-$0.88||-2.8%|
|Sturm Ruger & Co.||RGR||$16.67||-$1.57||-8.6%|
|Stage Stores Inc.||SSI||$16.55||-$0.78||-4.5%|
|Tractor Supply Co.||TSCO||$46.06||-$2.10||-4.4%|
|Waddell & Reed Financial Inc.||WDR||$23.80||-$1.04||-4.2%|