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Investors are probably just thankful this week is over. With four days of losses and one day (Friday) of recovery, all the major stock indexes were down.

But for the second week in a row, the Yonder 40 did slightly better than the other major indexes. That doesn’t mean the DY 40 did well. It’s just that the Yonder 40, publicly traded companies that represent the rural economy, did less poorly than anybody else.

After a yo-yo week, the Yonder 40 was down by only a quarter of a percent over five days of rambunctious trading. The Standard & Poor 500 was off by half a percent for the week; the Dow was down by more than a percent; and the NASDAQ was down by a 1.5 percent.

Since July, however, the Yonder 40 is down more than most of the other stock indexes. The rural stock index is down by 4.75 percent since July 1.

(A technical note here: The Yonder 40 is equally weighted, which means that on July 1, we “invested” an equal amount in each of the stocks. The S&P 500 is weighted ““ the larger the company, the bigger the investment. That’s why we include a fund — RSP in the chart on this page — that contains all the stocks in the S&P 500, but with equally weighted investment. The equally weighted S&P 500 is down more than six percent since July 1, the largest drop of any of the indexes.)

Within the Yonder 40, there were wild swings this week. Bassett Furniture was down by more than 11 percent. Southwest Bancorp was up by more than nine percent. Smithfield Foods was down by ten percent. Cato Corp. (women’s fashion) was up by 12.5 percent.

The only news of interest among the rural companies came from Deere & Co., the Moline, Illinois, farm-machinery maker. The farm economy is doing well, at least as far as Deere is concerned. The company’s net income rose 23% for the third quarter ended July 31, and Deere raised its forecast for the year. Deere was up by more than six percent this week.

Deere is one of only ten in the Yonder 40 that is up since July 1. Mine Safety Appliances leads the index over the last six weeks, up by 14.6 percent.

The Yonder 40 and its results for the past week can be found below.

THE YONDER 40: AUGUST 10-17, 2007

CompaniesTickerPrice August 17Price Change for WeekPercent Change for Week
Alico Inc.ALCO51.03$3.046.33%
Andersons Inc.ANDE46.12-$2.92-5.95%
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.BNI79.56-$1.02-1.27%
Berkshire HathawayBRKB3,948.00$323.008.91%
Bassett FurnitureBSET11.63-$1.48-11.29%
Peabody Energy Corp.BTU41.48-$3.86-8.51%
Cabela’s Inc.CAB22.51-$1.96-8.01%
ConAgra Foods Inc.CAG25.15-$0.82-3.16%
Cato Corp. Cl ACTR21.39$2.3712.46%
Citizens CommunicationsCZN13.8$0.282.07%
Deere & Co.DE124.61$7.316.23%
Dean Foods Co.DF27.64$0.210.77%
DIRECTV GroupDTV22.57$0.733.34%
Family Dollar Stores Inc.FDO27$0.893.41%
Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.FLE10.01$0.343.52%
FairPoint CommunicationsFRP16.23$0.231.44%
Gaylord Entertainment Co.GET51.31-$1.38-2.62%
Hormel FoodsHRL33.89$0.100.30%
International Speedway Corp.ISCA48.3$1.312.79%
Lee EnterprisesLEE19.19$1.236.85%
Mohawk Industries Inc.MHK86.33-$1.07-1.22%
Monsanto Co.MON63.09-$5.17-7.57%
Mine Safety Appliances Co.MSA50.14-$1.45-2.81%
Southwest BancorpOKSB21.62$1.889.52%
Plum Creek Timber REITPCL40.1-$1.16-2.81%
Penn Virginia Corp.PVA39.83$0.631.61%
Ralcorp HoldingsRAH60.31$0.440.73%
Regions Financial Corp.RF32.06$1.374.46%
Sturm Ruger & Co.RGR17.33$0.563.34%
Smithfield FoodsSFD28.76-$3.24-10.13%
Skywest Inc.SKYW24.87-$0.21-0.84%
Southern Co.SO36-$0.66-1.80%
Stage Stores Inc.SSI17.92-$0.77-4.12%
Tractor Supply Co.TSCO45.82-$3.16-6.45%
Tyson FoodsTSN20.01$0.040.20%
UST Inc.UST51.4$0.531.04%
Waddell & Reed Financial Inc.WDR25.13$1.235.15%
Walter IndustriesWLT23.96$0.180.76%
Wal-Mart StoresWMT43.49-$2.58-5.60%
Cimarex EnergyXEC35.61-$1.55-4.17%