News from rural companies: Warren Buffett likes both Obama and Clinton. And PETA goes after a pig producer.">
The stock market dove this week, as worries about credit, recession and, finally, inflation pulled down all the indexes. The Yonder 40 dropped 2.7 percent in the week. The other indexes tracked by the Daily Yonder (the Dow, NASDAQ and S&P 500) all fell more than two percent for the week.
Few individual stocks in the Yonder 40, stocks chosen to represent the rural economy, were spared. Thirty-two of the 40 stocks fell this week. Andersons Inc., the ethanol maker and grain company, sported the large gain, up over five percent for the week after announcing a dividend and being named to the S&P 600 small cap index.
Credit worries pulled down stocks in the beginning of the week. (Tightening credit markets had local effects. A biofuels plant planned in rural Missouri gave up when it couldn't raise money to match what was put up by local investors.) Then a spike in consumer prices reported Friday dampened expectation that the Federal Reserve would continue to lower interest rates.
There was some news of interest in the last week among the companies based in rural America, so here it is:
“¢ Financier Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway, i.e, Dairy Queen and Justin Boots) says he supports two Democrats: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. He attended a fundraiser for Clinton last week. "I told both of them that if they ran for president I'd support them, and here we are," Buffett said. Buffett told those attending the fundraiser, "The super-rich have been getting a huge break, and it hasn't trickled down."
“¢ Peabody Coal hopes to sign a deal in the next year that would allow it to open a coal mine in China. It would be an open pit mine.
“¢ An agreement has been reached in the deal that would have FairPoint Communications buy Verizon's northern New England landline operation. The staff of the Maine Public Utilities Commission had recommended against the $2.7 billion deal, which involves 1.6 million access lines and internet service in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire.
“¢ International Speedway Corp, which operates NASCAR tracks, said it expected to post increases in all its major revenue categories in 2008.
“¢ Penn Virginia Corp. announced that it would spend $475 million on oil and gas exploration in 2008, a 34 percent increase over last year. Most of the exploration would be done in east Texas, Mississippi and Appalachia.
“¢ People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says it has documented animal cruelty at a pig-breeding farm that supplies Smithfield Foods Inc., the nation's largest hog producer and pork processor. A PETA investigator applied for a job with the company and, according to the Wall Street Journal, "documented workers dragging screaming pigs by their snouts, an ear or a leg to an area where they then were killed."
“¢ SkyWest Inc., the St. George, Utah, airline said November traffic rose 11 percent.
Below you can find how the individual stocks in the Yonder 40 fared the week ending December 14, 2007:
|Companies||Ticker||Price December 14||Price Change for Week||Percent Change for Week|
|Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.||BNI||$83.93||-$3.11||-3.6%|
|Peabody Energy Corp.||BTU||$60.00||$1.11||1.9%|
|ConAgra Foods Inc.||CAG||$25.16||-$0.76||-2.9%|
|Cato Corp. Cl A||CTR||$14.87||$0.35||2.4%|
|Deere & Co.||DE||$87.16||-$0.95||-1.1%|
|Dean Foods Co.||DF||$26.29||$0.26||1.0%|
|Family Dollar Stores Inc.||FDO||$18.53||-$1.77||-8.7%|
|Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.||FLE||$5.88||-$0.16||-2.6%|
|Gaylord Entertainment Co.||GET||$38.75||-$5.50||-12.4%|
|International Speedway Corp.||ISCA||$41.65||-$1.55||-3.6%|
|Mohawk Industries Inc.||MHK||$75.51||-$4.34||-5.4%|
|Mine Safety Appliances Co.||MSA||$51.76||-$0.80||-1.5%|
|Plum Creek Timber REIT||PCL||$44.37||-$2.44||-5.2%|
|Penn Virginia Corp.||PVA||$44.10||$0.18||0.4%|
|Regions Financial Corp.||RF||$24.00||-$2.44||-9.2%|
|Sturm Ruger & Co.||RGR||$8.28||-$0.02||-0.2%|
|Stage Stores Inc.||SSI||$15.72||-$0.53||-3.3%|
|Tractor Supply Co.||TSCO||$36.86||-$3.46||-8.6%|
|Waddell & Reed Financial Inc.||WDR||$36.21||$0.40||1.1%|