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Feature Article

Picks and Pans for Second Half 2022

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 11, 2022

The highest inflation rate in 40 years plus, the worst bond market meltdown in decades, increasingly unpredictable and sometimes aggressive US regulation, war in Europe, the highest oil and gas prices since 2008 and now rising recession risk, as the US Federal Reserve jacks up interest rates to slow inflation. Given all that the Dow Jones Utility Average’s 0.36 percent first half 2022 total return is extraordinary. And the four factors I cited earlier this year enabling utilities “quiet rally” are strong as ever:

  • Reshoring investment in the US as Europe in particular staggers.
  • The growing attraction of US utilities as primarily domestic businesses.
  • Utilities’ reputation for business resilience, most recently showcased during pandemic 2020.
  • Low valuations, with the DJUA yielding twice the S&P 500.
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