Recession incurred damage on local stocks in 2008

Many investors lost up to half of the value in their investment portfolios in 2008.

The performance of BizTimes Stock Index last year reflected that grim reality. The index, which tracks the cumulative relative value of the stocks of publicly traded companies based in southeastern Wisconsin, closed the year at 90.39, down 46.8 percent from where it began 2008.

The BizTimes Stock Index finished 79.76 points below its opening value of 169.76 on Jan. 1, 2008.

The local index fell even deeper in 2008 than its broader counterparts, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 34 percent, the S&P 500 lost 38 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 40 percent.

Only four local stocks out of the 35 stocks in the local index managed to post gains in their share prices in 2008: Weyco Group Inc. (up 20.18 percent); Bank Mutual Corp. (up 9.18 percent); Merge Technologies Inc. (up 7.56 percent); and The Marcus Corp. (up 5.05 percent.

The five largest local losers of the year were: MGIC Investment Corp. (down 84.49 percent); Twin Disc Inc. (down 75.24 percent); Johnson Outdoors Inc. (down 75.24 percent); Waterstone Financial Inc. (down 73.87 percent); and Journal Communications Inc. (down 72.60 percent).

Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. provided historical data for the BizTimes Stock Index, which is moderated daily by North Shore Bank.

Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist for Baird, is uniquely bullish and expects the stock market to rebound in the first half of 2009.

In his recent Morning Conference Call note, Bittles wrote, “The weight of the evidence argues for improved stock market conditions in the first half of 2009. Although large gains the last two weeks could result very near term in a consolidation phase, the strong action in the broad market and mounting upside momentum suggests that any weakness that does develop will be limited in both time and price. Despite recent gains, the equity market remains oversold long term, and with unprecedented amounts of cash on the sidelines, the benefit of the doubt should be given to the bulls. The record cash also speaks volumes to the deep-seated pessimism and fear in the market that is discounting the worst for the economy in ‘09. Should the economy stabilize later this year as expected, the equity markets should anticipate this well in front of the event. The areas of the stock market expected to outperform include information technology, materials and emerging markets. … The outlook for the U.S. economy in 2009 calls for significant weakness in the first quarter followed by a gradual improvement in the second half of the year.” 

BizTimes Stock Index Research compiled by Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.

BizTimes Stock Index   
Research compiled by Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.
    Stock Name    Symbol    Closing price    Closing price    Percentage
            12/31/07    12/31/08    change
    Weyco Group, Inc.    WEYS    27.5    33.05    20.18%
    Bank Mutual Corp.    BKMU    10.57    11.54    9.18%
    Merge Technologies, Inc.    MRGE    1.19    1.28    7.56%
    Marcus Corp.    MCS    15.45    16.23    5.05%
    Wisconsin Energy Corp.    WEC    48.71    41.98    -13.82%
    Sensient Technologies Corp.    SXT    28.28    23.88    -15.56%
    A.O. Smith Corp.    AOS    35.05    29.52    -15.78%
    Snap-on, Inc.    SNA    48.24    39.38    -18.37%
    Kohl’s Corp.    KSS    45.8     36.2    -20.96%
    Briggs & Stratton Corp.    BGG    22.66    17.59    -22.37%
    Metavante Technologies Inc.    MV    23.32    16.11    -30.92%
    Brady Corp.    BRC    35.09    23.95    -31.75%
    Zbb Energy Corp.    ZBB    1.98    1.35    -31.82%
    Fiserv, Inc.    FISV    55.49    36.37    -34.46%
    Badger Meter, Inc.    BMI    44.95    29.02    -35.44%
    Manpower, Inc.    MAN    56.9    33.99    -40.26%
    MagneTek Inc.    MAG    4.28    2.4    -43.93%
    Actuant Corp.    ATU    34.01    19.02    -44.08%
    Assisted Living Concepts Inc.    ALC    7.5    4.15    -44.67%
    Koss Corp.    KOSS    17.813    9.3    -47.79%
    Marshall & Ilsley Corp.    MI    26.48    13.64    -48.49%
    Johnson Controls, Inc.    JCI    36.04    18.16    -49.61%
    Rockwell Automation, Inc.    ROK    68.96    32.24    -53.25%
    Strattec Security Corp.    STRT    41.43    16.45    -60.29%
    Bucyrus International Inc.    BUCY    49.695    18.52    -62.73%
    Harley-Davidson, Inc.    HOG    46.71    16.97    -63.67%
    Joy Global, Inc.    JOYG    65.82    22.89    -65.22%
    Ladish Co.    LDSH    43.19    13.85    -67.93%
    Modine Manufacturing Co.    MOD    16.51    4.87    -70.50%
    Orion Energy Systems Inc.    OESX    18.82    5.41    -71.25%
    Journal Communications Inc.    JRN    8.94    2.45    -72.60%
    Waterstone Financial Inc.    WSBF    12.82    3.35    -73.87%
    Johnson Outdoors, Inc.    JOUT    22.5    5.572    -75.24%
    Twin Disc, Inc.    TWIN    35.385    6.89    -80.53%
    MGIC Investment Corp.    MTG    22.43    3.48    -84.49%

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