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Trib 30 local stock index remains steady through June

| Saturday, June 29, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The Trib 30 held its ground in June, a month in which news about a strengthening economy gave way to concerns about the Federal Reserve and interest rates.

The local stock index ended June at 382.3, barely budging from its close of 382.2 at the end of May. But losing stocks outnumbered gainers 2-to-1 at the end of a volatile month of trading.

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 $382,300 at the end of the month.

Recent economic reports showed the economy is strengthening. Home prices are recovering, the jobs picture is brighter, consumers are spending, and their incomes are rising.

But traders seemed unsure how to interpret the Federal Reserve pronouncements about bond buying and its efforts to hold interest rates at attractively low levels.

Banks in the Trib 30, however, seemed to benefit. Four of the five in the index rose over the month, including PNC, which hit a 52-week high.

A housekeeping note: The Trib 30 made a change to its 30-stock roster this month. The giant food processing company H.J. Heinz Co. was taken private by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital in a $28 billion transaction that closed June 7.

Heinz has been replaced with Eaton Corp. (ticker: ETN), a diversified power management manufacturer with a significant presence in Western Pennsylvania. The company, whose electrical group is based in Moon Township, employs about 1,300 people in this region at four locations.

This month's Trib 30 index also reflects a 2-for-1 stock split by Wabtec. The rail supplier's split was effective June 11.

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

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