The Yonder 40, the stock index of rural America, has dropped faster since the beginning of May than the other major market measures.
The DY 40 — 40 stocks picked to reflect the rural economy — fell 6.8% in May compared to drops of a little over 2% in the Dow Industrials and the Standard and Poor’s 500.
The Dow and the Yonder 40 are both up a little over 8% in 2011. The S&P 500 is up 6% this year.
•The giant headline on this weekend’s U.S.A. Today was simply: “It is done.”
The paper was quoting Oprah Winfrey on the end of the entertainer’s television show, which has been running for 25 years.
But who was Winfrey quoting?
The bold headline got us scurrying to the Bible. In John 19:30, Jesus’ last words on the cross are variously translated as “It is accomplished,” “It is consumated,” “It is finished.” And, “It is done.”
These are also the last words in the King James version of Psalms 22.
• Massachusetts veterinarians report seeing dogs with diseases not typical of New England, a result of large numbers of stray and abandoned pets being shipped north from Southern states, the Boston Globe reports.
• Fourteen states are considering local laws that would require labels for genetically modified food sold within their borders.
The laws vary. Four states (Vermont, Alaska, Oregon and California) pertain only to fish. Some states, such as New York, are considering measures that would apply to all foods.
• Mendota is a town of 10,000 in the Central Valley of California. The unemployment rate there is around 45%. The kids at the high school won the state championship in chess. Good article here in the L.A. Times about how a town built on industrial ag produced a championship chess team.
In Mendota, said one resident, “you’re not born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you’re born with a hoe in your hand.” Slideshow of the town and the players here.
• The Washington Post notes Sen. Jon Tester’s tough re-election battle in Montana, seeing it as a referendum on the Democratic Party in rural America.
“What’s started in Montana is a high-stakes 2012 race that will test the staying power of rural Western Democrats in the Obama era and help determine which party will lead the U.S. Senate,” writes Philip Rucker.
“I’m from Montana, and I look at things from a rural perspective. Barack is from Chicago and doesn’t look at things from that perspective,” Tester said over the chimes of a cuckoo clock in an interview at a dinette table in his house, which sits on 1,800 acres of Big Sandy plains that his grandparents settled a century ago.
“Washington, D.C., can be a bit artificial, but this ain’t artificial. And when you start thinking it is artificial, the combine and the tractor let you know. They don’t give a damn. They’ll break down when they want to break down, and they don’t care if you’re a senator or not.”