The Yonder 40 — the forty publicly traded companies chosen to represent the rural economy — continued to steam ahead last week. The DY 40 is now nearly 4% AHEAD of where it was in July 2007. The Dow Industrials are 18% behind their July 2007 levels and the S&P 500 stock index is 20.6% below its July 2007 mark. Last week, the DY 40 gained another 2%. The Dow was up 1.5%.
A big mover last week was Southwest Bancorp, a battered bank stock that rose 25% last week. Regions Financial, another regional bank, rose 11%. Rural retailers were also strong last week, Tractor Supply rose nearly 12%.
Coal and energy stocks were up last week in the wake of the mine tragedy at Massey Energy’s West Virginia mining operation. (Twenty-nine men died in a methane gas explosion.) But traders figured this may help tighten supply and the coal stocks on the DY list (Peabody and Cimarex) as well as mine safety equipment maker MSA all rose. Monsanto was the biggest loser on the DY 40 list last week, dropping nearly 3%.