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Feature Article

Picks and Pans for Second Half 2021

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 3, 2021

A defensive reputation at a time when most investors are reaching for growth rather than income, concern about interest rates and inflation, heavy indexing to “green” stock indexes that faltered this spring and an unexpectedly severe winter storm that triggered a natural gas price spike.

All contributed to the underperformance of utilities and essential services stocks in first half 2021. The Dow Jones Utility Average’s return is positive so far at 2.97 percent, but badly lags the S&P 500’s 15.18 percent.

The silver lining is there are more companies in the Utility Report Card trading at good entry points than at any time since spring 2020. And strengthening underlying businesses have greatly cut risks of ownership as well.

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