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News | 3 min read

Most companies on Richmond Index showed gains second quarter

July 2, 2015

The Richmond Index barely eked out a gain for the second quarter as the national markets stumbled, but the local index maintained a double-digit gain for the year so far.

The Richmond Index, which includes the stocks of 19 publicly traded companies with headquarters in the region, gained 0.97 percent for the three-month period that ended Tuesday.

For the first six months of the year, the index gained about 11.78 percent.

That increase was largely the result of a few major gainers, such as wireless spectrum owner Straight Path Communications Inc., which rose nearly 73 percent for the first half of the year and almost 65 percent for the second quarter.

Pharmaceuticals maker Indivior Plc., which was spun off from parent company Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc at the end of last year, gained 38.15 percent for the quarter and 66.78 percent for the six-month period.

In comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the quarter with a loss of 0.88 percent and the first six months with a decline of 1.14 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index finished with a decline of 0.2 percent for the quarter and a drop of 0.23 percent the first six months.

The Nasdaq was up 1.75 percent for the second quarter and 5.3 percent for the first half of 2015.

Overall on the Richmond Index, eight stocks were up for the six-month period, while 10 were down. Eleven companies on the index showed gains for the quarter, while seven had declines.

In addition to Indivior, Apple Hospitality REIT Inc. is new to the list. The owner of nearly 200 hotels, including the Richmond Marriott, debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in mid-May.

The percentage results from Apple Hospitality are not included because the company has not traded for a full quarter.

“For the most part, the local stocks have followed the ebbing tide of the markets, as has been the case for the past three to four years,” said Steve Marascia, director of research for Capitol Securities Management Inc. in Henrico County.

On Monday, U.S. stocks fell sharply, while the S&P 500 and the Dow had their worst day since October, on investor worries about the debt crisis in Greece.

The markets rebounded slightly Tuesday.

Even before concerns about Greece hurt the markets recently, returns for the quarter were not great, said Michael Joyce, president of JoycePayne Partners in Richmond.

“Some sectors like utility stocks have had negative returns this year even though they did great last year,” he said. “They were negatively affected by the expectation of higher interest rates.”

Payne said the “specter” of higher interest rates may result in greater volatility for the markets going forward, but if rising rates also signal a growing economy, that should support improved stock prices.

Marascia said consumer spending and job growth, along with corporate earnings reports, will influence U.S. markets in the third quarter.

“What is emerging as the overlaying question is what will happen with Greece and how it affects debt and equity markets around the world,” he said.

James River Coal Co., which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2014, was the worst performer for the quarter and second half.

Shares fell 59.73 percent for the second quarter and declined 39.31 percent for the second half.

Copyright Richmond Times-Dispatch. Used by Permission.