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Iowa stocks mixed in January, down 6.3 percent year-to-date


January ended up as a mixed bag for the Iowa Index, an unweighted average of 22 Iowa-based public companies (in bold type in chart). Eleven of the 22 posted gains while the other 11 sustained losses. However, of the additional 15 companies with large operations in Iowa that the Business Record tracks, only four sustained losses.

While we normally look at the index a month at a time, it’s important to note that the volatility in February has left the Iowa Index down 6.32 percent year-to-date as of this morning. 

Now back to the January results.

The top Iowa-based gainers for the month were KemPharm Inc. and Lee Enterprises Inc., which both had double-digit increases on a percentage basis in January.

Winnebago Industries Inc. was the only Iowa company to suffer a double-digit loss on a percentage basis for the month. Forest City-based Winnebago topped the Iowa Index in 2017, in which its stock price increased 75.67 percent. Read more about Winnebago’s stock jump at BusinessRecord.com.

The Iowa Index decreased 0.35 percent during January. On a year-over-year basis, the index is up 7.6 percent, compared with Nasdaq’s 28.24 percent gain.

Stocks so far this year have had some ups and downs. Shareholders understandably might be nervous. But one columnist says not to worry. 

“The bottom line is, nothing has changed in the past two weeks to alter the idea that the U.S. economy is expanding at a healthy clip, inflation is still below the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target for the personal consumption expenditures price index, business and consumer confidence are solid, and already strong corporate earnings will be boosted by the reduction in the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent,” writes Caroline Baum for MarketWatch.

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