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Feature Article

Riding the Electric Utility Renaissance

By Roger S. Conrad on Apr. 8, 2019

Over four decades from the mid-1960s through the mid 2000s, US electricity demand more than quadrupled. Since the Financial Crisis of 2008, however, consumption has basically flat-lined.

Since electric utilities make their living generating and distributing electricity, it would be reasonable to assume this is bad news. The truth is the sector’s health and growth prospects have never been better.

That’s very much reflected in the strong performance of utility stocks shown in our graph “A New All-Time High.” And lest anyone credit those gains to Federal Reserve’s decision to quit monetary tightening, consider the iShares Utilities Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLU) shown has returned more than 50 percent since the Fed’s first rate increase in December 2015.

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