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.
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
|Companies||Ticker||Price August 17||Price Change for Week||Percent Change for Week|
|Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.||BNI||79.56||-$1.02||-1.27%|
|Peabody Energy Corp.||BTU||41.48||-$3.86||-8.51%|
|ConAgra Foods Inc.||CAG||25.15||-$0.82||-3.16%|
|Cato Corp. Cl A||CTR||21.39||$2.37||12.46%|
|Deere & Co.||DE||124.61||$7.31||6.23%|
|Dean Foods Co.||DF||27.64||$0.21||0.77%|
|Family Dollar Stores Inc.||FDO||27||$0.89||3.41%|
|Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.||FLE||10.01||$0.34||3.52%|
|Gaylord Entertainment Co.||GET||51.31||-$1.38||-2.62%|
|International Speedway Corp.||ISCA||48.3||$1.31||2.79%|
|Mohawk Industries Inc.||MHK||86.33||-$1.07||-1.22%|
|Mine Safety Appliances Co.||MSA||50.14||-$1.45||-2.81%|
|Plum Creek Timber REIT||PCL||40.1||-$1.16||-2.81%|
|Penn Virginia Corp.||PVA||39.83||$0.63||1.61%|
|Regions Financial Corp.||RF||32.06||$1.37||4.46%|
|Sturm Ruger & Co.||RGR||17.33||$0.56||3.34%|
|Stage Stores Inc.||SSI||17.92||-$0.77||-4.12%|
|Tractor Supply Co.||TSCO||45.82||-$3.16||-6.45%|
|Waddell & Reed Financial Inc.||WDR||25.13||$1.23||5.15%|