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Iowa stocks take a hit in March as COVID-19 settles in


Market volatility continued into March as news of COVID-19 continued to increase. On March 15, the Federal Open Market Committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 0-0.25%. The next morning, stock markets hit the emergency circuit breaker for an unprecedented third time, according to TechChrunch.

Seventeen of 19 Iowa-based companies on the Business Record’s Iowa Index posted stock price losses for the month. Sixteen of those companies faced double-digit losses. Only two of the 19 posted stock price gains.

The two companies that posted gains are Heartland Express Inc. at 3.69% and Art’s Way Manufacturing Co. at 1.93%

The three companies that posted the biggest percentage losses are Meredith Corp. at 53.62%, Winnebago Industries Inc. at 46.41%, and Lee Enterprises Inc. at 34.67%.

Ames-based NewLink Genetics is not listed in the stock table or in the Iowa Index because the company recently announced that NewLink’s shareholders voted to approve the issuance of shares in connection with the previously announced merger agreement with Lumos Pharma Inc. The companies said the vote was approved “by an overwhelming majority” of shareholders. The combined company will operate as Austin, Texas-based Lumos Pharma Inc. and will trade on Nasdaq under the stock symbol “LUMO.” In April Lumos Pharma will be listed in the stock table, replacing NewLink Genetics.

The Iowa Index, an unweighted average price of 19 Iowa-based public companies, decreased 23.25% in March — compared with a 10.12% decrease in the Nasdaq stock index and a 13.74% decrease in the Dow Jones industrial average. 

The Iowa-based companies that make up the Iowa Index are in bold in this list of companies with sizable operations in the state.

See the full Iowa Index

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