Most Chattanooga area stocks down

Most Chattanooga area stocks down

June 29th, 2013 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

Photo by Laura McNutt/Times Free Press.

Most publicly traded Chattanooga area stocks ran contrary to the broader markets over the last three months as their share prices lost ground compared to the first quarter.

Only three local companies were gainers in the spring quarter, with carpet-maker Dixie Group registering the biggest jump, up 48.2 percent in the second quarter.

Jim Campbell, managing partner of Campbell Asset Management, said the market reacted sharply to comments earlier this month by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that sent share prices down.

"The Fed is attempting to look at where the economy might be a year or two down the road," he said. "Jobs are the key that the Fed is looking at."

Campbell said two local stocks, shopping center developer CBL & Associates Properties Inc. and floorcovering giant Mohawk Industries, had big pullbacks.

"From a fundamentals standpoint, CBL continues to improve," he said. Campbell said he expect retail sales to get healthier and for CBL's occupancy rates and profits to improve as well.

For Mohawk, he sees near-term weakness.

While housing is in "the middle innings of recovery," he said that Mohawk's stock has had a sizable run-up already and the market has factored in homebuilding's upswing.

Larry Payne, an Edward Jones financial adviser in Dalton, Ga., said he's telling clients to think with a long view in mind.

"Long term, we feel market prices are based on earnings," he said. "Short term, it's based on emotions. Just keep thinking about your goal. Don't watch what it does day to day."

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 114 points. Still, it's up 2.2 percent for the quarter. The S&P 500 posted the best first half of the year since 1998, rising more than 13 percent in the first six months.

Campbell said he thinks the economy will continue to grow in the rest of 2013, but at a subdued level.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.