Wall Street Discovers Manufacturing

By May 16, 2006General

We live in a sophisticated economy where many factors influence the future of any industry. From our standpoint, we usually focus on the attention (or lack of it) that manufacturing receives from elected officials, because that is our focus here in Washington, DC. From time to time, we will blog about how state officials have an impact on manufacturing (such as those governors who resist at all costs drilling for new oil and gas in their states and waters despite the energy crisis that surrounds us). Then there are the local schools that are either exemplars of how to train a new workforce or, all too often–the reverse.

Well, we shouldn’t forget that Wall Street has an impact on manufacturing as well. There’s good news on that front with an article that appeared last Friday in the Wall Street Journal, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and maybe other papers, by Diya Gullapalli. It’s worth reading because the author’s message is that mutual funds are not just focusing on technology anymore but are making “picks in the construction, rail and manufacturing areas.”

Morningstar reports that large-stock growth funds are about 25 percent invested in technology now, down from 37 percent three years ago. Gullapalli says that “”meanwhile, manufacturing stocks have increased in these portfolios to 24 percent from 15 percent in 2003, thanks to an emphasis on energy and industrial materials stocks, which include companies in aerospace and machinery.” One fund manager is quoted as saying they are seeing “impressive growth” in their manufacturing investments.

Click here to read the whole article.