Trib 30 index surpasses August high
Pittsburgh-area stocks ended November at a record high for the first since summer, improving for a second month on the coattails of major indexes that continued a strong recovery from a 7 percent stumble in mid October.
The Trib 30 index of local stocks ended trading on Friday at 450.90, up 1.3 percent from last month, passing the record set in August, when the index closed at 449.50.
During November, The Trib 30 produced 52-week highs for 11 of the 30 local issues, including five on the last trading day of the month. That’s a turnaround from October, when 10 stocks sank to 52-week lows as markets tumbled on fears of a slowdown in global growth.
New highs were registered by aluminum maker Alcoa Inc., energy producer Dominion Resources Inc.; FedEx Corp., whose FedEx Ground unit is headquartered in Moon; First Commonwealth Financial Corp. in Indiana, Pa.; FirstEnergy Corp., the parent of West Penn Power; memorial and funeral industry manufacturer Matthews International Corp.; generic drug maker Mylan Inc.; NiSource Inc., the parent of Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania; paint industry leader PPG Industries Inc.; scientific equipment maker Thermo Fisher Scientific; and rail industry supplier Wabtec Corp.
Only Kennametal Inc. hit a 52-week low — for the second consecutive month.
The index was nearly evenly split with 16 gainers for the month and 14 losers. American Eagle Outfitters Inc. gained 9.6 percent; Mylan was up 9.4 percent; First Niagara Financial Group rose 9.1 percent, and PPG Industries gained 7.4 percent.
Big losers were U.S. Steel Corp., down 16.7 percent, and L.B. Foster Co., losing 14.3 percent. U.S. Steel’s cost advantage over competitors from owning its iron ore mines is shrinking as the price of the commodity used to make steel declined to a four-year low. Foster reported lower third-quarter profit, blaming recent merger activity and spending on a business management software system for the decline.
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, had a portfolio worth $450,900 at the end of November.
For the month, the Dow industrials rose 4.8 percent, closing at 17,828.24; The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed at 2,067.56, up 2.5 percent; and the Nasdaq composite index rose 3.5 percent, closing at 4,791.63.