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Trib 30 stock index hits record high

| Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, 10:34 p.m.

The Trib 30 stock index ended December and 2012 in impressive fashion, closing at an all-time high of 335.9 on the strength of a broad array of local stocks.

The buying binge seemed to dispel notions that a likely rise in capital gains tax rates in 2013 would lead to a broader-than-usual sell-off of stocks at year-end.

December's showing bested the previous high of 327.9, which the index logged in September.

Eight Trib 30 stocks rose to 52-week highs last month, most of them manufacturing issues. No stock fell to a 52-week low.

Local gainers trounced losers by a margin of more than 3-to-1, with 23 local stocks increasing in value last month, while seven retreated.

The Trib 30 is an equal-weighted index of stocks of companies headquartered or dominant in Western Pennsylvania. An investor who divided $100,000 equally among the 30 stocks on Dec. 31, 1999, would have a portfolio worth $335,900 at the end of the month.

The Trib 30 increased 3.6 percent over its close of 324.3 at the end of November. The rise in the local index far exceeded that of the Dow Jones industrial average, after which the Trib 30 was modeled in December 1993. The Dow closed Monday at 13,104, virtually unchanged from its November close of 13,096.

For all of 2012, the Trib 30 jumped 17.8 percent from its close of 285.1 at the end of 2011.

The Dow, on the other hand, increased less than 7.3 percent from 12,218 at the end of 2011.

Among local stocks, Comcast was the year's star performer. The telecommunications stock touched $38.22 in December, giving Comcast 11 consecutive months with a 52-week high.

The other non-manufacturing stock to reach a high in December was BNY Mellon, which increased to $26.25, the bank's fourth high in as many months.

Six other local stocks hit new heights in December. L.B. Foster rolled to $43.85 on Monday. Mylan hit $28.50, the drug maker's sixth high in as many months. H.J. Heinz rose to $60, its third new high in three months.

PPG Industries soared to $136.79 during December, its fourth high in as many months. Thermo Fisher Scientific reached $65.54, its fourth high in four months. Wabtec rolled to a high of $89.03.

Thomas Olson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached a 412-320-7854. or at tolson@tribweb.com.

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