Virginia Business Stock Index finishes underwhelming year

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The Virginia Business Stock Index finished 2008 not with a bang but a wimper.

The index of 50 major Virginia stocks was virtually flat for December, rising 1.27 points or 0.29 percent.

But state stocks actually outperformed the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones industrial average for the month. Twenty-seven of the stocks in the Virginia index advanced while 23 declined.

Nonetheless, the performance of the index over the year offered little cause for celebration. When the index began appearing in Virginia Business in January 2008, it was given a frame of reference of 1,000 points. It never reached 1,000 in 2008, and in fact finished the year down roughly 44 percent. At the same time, the Standard & Poor 500 index declined 38 percent.

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