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The Daily Yonder 40 stock index — consisting of 40 publicly-traded companies that do much of their business in rural America — fell 7.7% last week, a steeper slide than the Dow Industrials or the S&P 500. The Dow dropped 4.7% in last week’s market plunge. The S&P fell 5%.

The Yonder 40 is still well into positive ground for the year, up 13% for 2010, despite the plunge last week. The Dow and S&P are down slightly this year.

When life goes sour you can always fish, and that held true for the Yonder 40 last week. Cabela’s, the hunting and fishing outfitter, was the only stock to rise last week, going up a strong 8.8%. Every other stock on the Yonder 40 list was down.

The biggest drop last week was Gaylord Entertainment, owner of the now-flooded Grand Ole Opry (above). Bassett Furniture fell 16%, after a recent increase in its stock price. Oil and gas producer Penn Virginia was off by 14%; small town stock brokers Waddell & Reed was down by 13%; Mohawk, the carpet maker was down 13.7%; and coal producer Peabody was down by 12.4%.

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