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Trib 30 stock index continues gains

| Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The Trib 30 stock index dipped slightly in October but still posted a second-highest-ever 424.4 for the month on the strength of manufacturing and bank stocks.

Bank stocks benefited from indications from the Federal Reserve that it would continue its bond-buying efforts to keep interest rates extremely low.

Manufacturing stocks, especially those associated with long-lasting goods, were helped by Commerce Department reports that durable goods orders posted strong gains in September.

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 $424,400 at the end of the month.

The index of local stocks hit an all-time high of 431.0 in September.

Durable goods were largely pushed up by aircraft-related orders. That bodes especially well for suppliers such as Allegheny Technologies and PPG Industries.

Shares of Allegheny Technologies, which supplies titanium to aircraft makers, increased 8.5 percent during the month. PPG, which provides specialty coatings for planes, saw its shares increase 9.3 percent.

The local stock index also underwent a housekeeping change in October. Michael Baker Corp., the construction/engineering firm based in Moon, was dropped from the Trib 30 after being acquired and taken private by Integrated Mission Solutions LLC, an affiliate of DC Capital Partners.

Taking Baker's place is Emerson Electric Co., which designs and makes products for commercial, industrial and consumer markets. While headquartered in St. Louis, Emerson employs nearly 600 people in the Pittsburgh area, as its Emerson Process Management Power & Water Solutions unit is based in O'Hara.

Like several other industrial-related stocks, Emerson benefited from the durable goods news. The shares increased 3.5 percent in October and set a new 52-week high of $67.49 yesterday.

The Trib 30's 1.6 percent decline in October was a poorer showing than the Dow Jones industrial average, around which the Trib 30 was modeled. The Dow ended October at 15,546, or 2.7 percent higher than its September close.

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

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