CBER Press Release
Huntington, WV–The West Virginia Stock Index, which has tracked the top 25 publicly traded companies that operate in West Virginia, is celebrating its tenth anniversary. The Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) began the West Virginia Stock Index as a method to track the financial performance of the dominant publicly traded firms that operate in the State. The West Virginia Stock Index is updated weekly and available by visiting marshall.edu/cber. The West Virginia Stock Index is weighted by the number of employees and accounts for over 60,000 workers through the State. Companies in the index include (in order of employment): Wal-Mart, Alpha Natural Resources, Kroger, CONSOL Energy, Patriot Coal Corporation, Lowe’s Companies, Mylan Incorporated, American Electric Power, El DuPont de Nemours, Sears Holdings Corporation, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, First Energy, CSX Corporation, Rite Aid Corporation, Bob Evans Farms, Frontier Telecommunications, Alliant Techsystems, MTR Gaming, Dollar General, Darden Restaurants, BB&T, Dominion Transmission Incorporated, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, and Quad Graphics. “The Index allows for the comparison of the performance of dominant firms in West Virginia to the DOW Index, one of the best-known market indicators. The DOW is comprised of 30 “blue-chip” firms outside of the utilities and transportation sectors. Presently, only Wal-Mart and DuPont are components of both the WV index and the DOW. The index is weighted by employment, so firms with a larger presence as indicated by employment have greater influence on the index level,” Christine Risch, Director of Resource and Energy Economics at CBER, said. During its ten years of existence, the West Virginia Stock Index has illustrated a wide variety of trends in the market. The WV Stock Index is heavily weighted toward the retail industry, at nearly 40% of employment. In spite of the large numbers of employment, as an industry this group of firms is associated with relatively few major newsworthy events. The primary exception is the acquisition of Kmart by Sears in 2005. The index is also weighted toward mining and utilities, at about 30% of employment. The index showed considerable response to the Upper Big Branch mine disaster as Massey Energy was at the time the second largest firm in the index, but did not respond to the 2005 Sago disaster as International Coal Group was not part of the index. “The year 2007 stands out as a “non-event” year due to the dearth of events prior to the beginning of the Great Recession in December of 2007. There were no stock splits, no acquisitions and few major newsworthy events for the portfolio firms. Although the index and the DOW were somewhat volatile it was in hindsight the year of relative calm before the storm of economic decline,” Risch said. CBER will continue the West Virginia Stock Index and will modify the composition of the firms to reflect the changing levels of employment. With the addition of Dominion Transmission, Dollar General, Toyota, Cracker Barrel and Quad Graphics to the index in 2013, the diversity of industries represented within the index has expanded. CBER provides economic research to public, private and non-profit sectors, specializing in the areas of energy, policy, education and healthcare. For more information about CBER and the West Virginia Stock Index visit marshall.edu/cber.
CBER Press Release