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The Yonder 40 — DY's index of 40 publicly traded companies chosen to reflect the rural economy — continues to outpace the other major stock indexes. The 40 rose last week a fraction while both the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 fell.

No major news moved the Yonder 40. Meat producers continued to have their troubles. Smithfield foods dropped nearly 17% and Tyson was off 9%. Both companies have been pressed by higher feed costs.

Rural retailers, meanwhile, had a good week. Stage Stores, Tractor Supply, Family Dollar and Cato Corp. all showed strong stock gains.

The Yonder 40 broke away from the S&P and Dow in the Spring, riding higher commodity prices that lifted oil, gas, coal and farm supply stocks.

Below is the full accounting of the Yonder 40 for the week ending August 29, 2008:

Yonder 40TickerPrice August 31Price Change 8/22 to 8/29Percent Change 8/22 to 8/29
Alico Inc.ALCO$43.15 $1.38 3.1%
Andersons Inc.ANDE$44.96$0.290.6%
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.BNI$107.40$3.933.8%
Berkshire HathawayBRKB$3,902.00$32.000.8%
Bassett FurnitureBSET$10.28 $0.23 2.2%
Peabody Energy Corp.BTU$62.95 $1.56 2.4%
Cabela's Inc.CAB$12.25$0.262.2%
ConAgra Foods Inc.CAG$21.27 $0.83 3.8%
Cato Corp. Cl ACTR$17.61$0.663.9%
Citizens CommunicationsCZN$11.68$0.000.0%
Deere & Co.DE$70.57$3.034.5%
Dean Foods Co.DF$25.17$0.160.6%
DIRECTV GroupDTV$28.21 $0.43 1.5%
Family Dollar Stores Inc.FDO$24.92$0.361.5%
Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.FLE$2.14 $0.14 6.1%
FairPoint CommunicationsFRP$8.85$0.283.3%
Gaylord Entertainment Co.GET$34.65$1.875.7%
Hormel FoodsHRL$35.66$0.100.3%
International Speedway Corp.ISCA$39.67$1.824.8%
Lee EnterprisesLEE$3.75 $0.12 3.1%
Mohawk Industries Inc.MHK$69.05 $0.04 0.1%
Monsanto Co.MON$114.25 $3.82 3.2%
Mine Safety Appliances Co.MSA$36.33 $0.67 1.8%
Southwest BancorpOKSB$16.84$0.140.8%
Plum Creek Timber REITPCL$49.62$2.385.0%
Penn Virginia Corp.PVA$66.18$2.844.5%
Ralcorp HoldingsRAH$61.40$1.442.4%
Regions Financial Corp.RF$9.27$0.799.3%
Sturm Ruger & Co.RGR$7.30$0.131.8%
Smithfield FoodsSFD$20.11 $4.04 16.7%
Skywest Inc.SKYW$17.09 $0.03 0.2%
Southern Co.SO$37.51 $0.28 0.7%
Stage Stores Inc.SSI$15.92$0.432.8%
Tractor Supply Co.TSCO$42.62$0.872.1%
Tyson FoodsTSN$14.52 $1.49 9.3%
UST Inc.UST$53.59 $0.39 0.7%
Waddell & Reed Financial Inc.WDR$32.20$0.882.8%
Walter IndustriesWLT$93.80 $0.09 0.1%
Wal Mart StoresWMT$59.07 $0.37 0.6%
Cimarex EnergyXEC$55.54$2.534.8%

A message from the Rural Assembly

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