Index starts the year on a down note but still beats the Dow

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A new year and a new administration brought no great relief to the Virginia Business Stock Index.

The index of 50 stocks ended January down 25.61 points, 5.77 percent, after declining about 44 percent during 2008. Nonetheless, the Virginia index outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average during the month. The Dow lost 8.84 percent, nearly 776 points, including a 332-point drop on Jan. 20, President Obama’s inauguration day. Last year, the Virginia index bested the Dow in only three months.

Overall, 15 of the 50 stocks on the index rose in January while 35 declined. Norfolk-based Portfolio Recovery Associates Inc. replaced Fairchild Corp. on the index after Fairchild was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has moved to the “pink sheets” of the over-the-counter market.

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