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Maybe we should ignore the Yonder 40 more often!!

We’ve gone two weeks without reporting results from the Daily Yonder’s group of 40 publicly-traded companies that reflect the rural economy. When we last checked in with the Yonder 40, the companies that had a strong base in rural communities were trailing all the other major stock indexes — the NASDAQ, the Dow, the S&P 500.

No longer. The Yonder 40 is alive, well, and kickin’. It now leads all the major measures of the stock market since we began keeping tabs on July 1, 2007. That’s not saying much, of course, since each index is down substantially in the last seven months. It’s just that the Yonder 40 is down by less.

The 40’s comeback has been powered by retail outlets, which had been beaten down over a less than stellar Christmas season. Over the past two weeks, Stage Stores has risen 24%; Tractor Supply is up 22%; Family Dollar is up nearly 8%; Cabela’s rose 10.4%.

Many of the stocks that have driven the Yonder 40 downward over the past six months made a slight comeback. Gaylord Entertainment (Opryland) rose 16%. Lee Enterprises, a newspaper publisher, was up 8%.

The full roster of Yonder 40 stocks and how they’ve fared since January 25 can be found after the jump.

CompaniesTickerPrice January 25Price Change 1/25 to 2/08Percent Change 1/25 to 2/08
Alico Inc.ALCO$44.48-$4.07-9.2%
Andersons Inc.ANDE$44.36$2.766.2%
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.BNI$81.80$6.237.6%
Berkshire HathawayBRKB$4,630.00-$38.00-0.8%
Bassett FurnitureBSET$11.08$0.938.4%
Peabody Energy Corp.BTU$56.07-$2.19-3.9%
Cabela’s Inc.CAB$13.52$1.4010.4%
ConAgra Foods Inc.CAG$21.06-$0.06-0.3%
Cato Corp. Cl ACTR$15.19$0.855.6%
Citizens CommunicationsCZN$10.75$0.191.8%
Deere & Co.DE$82.88-$0.42-0.5%
Dean Foods Co.DF$28.11-$1.20-4.3%
DIRECTV GroupDTV$21.99$1.145.2%
Family Dollar Stores Inc.FDO$18.23$1.437.8%
Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.FLE$4.92-$0.87-17.7%
FairPoint CommunicationsFRP$10.59-$0.34-3.2%
Gaylord Entertainment Co.GET$28.12$4.4815.9%
Hormel FoodsHRL$37.32$1.544.1%
International Speedway Corp.ISCA$39.29$2.516.4%
Lee EnterprisesLEE$11.04$0.877.9%
Mohawk Industries Inc.MHK$72.86$5.006.9%
Monsanto Co.MON$108.13$1.791.7%
Mine Safety Appliances Co.MSA$43.33$0.150.3%
Southwest BancorpOKSB$16.85-$0.12-0.7%
Plum Creek Timber REITPCL$41.64-$0.83-2.0%
Penn Virginia Corp.PVA$41.65$1.904.6%
Ralcorp HoldingsRAH$54.85$0.510.9%
Regions Financial Corp.RF$22.79$0.421.8%
Sturm Ruger & Co.RGR$8.20-$0.60-7.3%
Smithfield FoodsSFD$24.45$2.5410.4%
Skywest Inc.SKYW$25.01$0.341.4%
Southern Co.SO$36.09-$0.34-0.9%
Stage Stores Inc.SSI$10.68$2.6024.3%
Tractor Supply Co.TSCO$33.01$7.2622.0%
Tyson FoodsTSN$13.26$0.423.2%
UST Inc.UST$52.33$2.695.1%
Waddell & Reed Financial Inc.WDR$31.55$0.632.0%
Walter IndustriesWLT$40.83$3.087.5%
Wal-Mart StoresWMT$48.09$0.671.4%
Cimarex EnergyXEC$39.15$4.5511.6%