Market Needs Rest - Also Included: Infrastructure Special

George Brooks |

Ben Bernanke President Barack ObamaBrooksie’s Daily Stock Market blog  -  an edge before the market opens

Thursday, September 1, 2011        9:09 am EDT

DJIA: 11,613.53          S&P 500: 1218.89

Wall Street’s current focus is on President Obama’s speech next Thursday, and on the Fed’s meeting on the 20th.  These two events offer hope for reviving the economic recovery that started in late 2009, but has lagged recently.

One problem for buying today is the fact the DJIA is already up 860 points in less than two weeks.  Another problem is, no matter what the President proposes, there is no assurance he will get the support from the Republican controlled House needed to implement his recommendations.

With a long weekend looming, and the President’s speech a week away, I expect the market to sell off by the close Friday, even though the Jobless Claims reported  this morning were down and in line with projections and institutions have cash that must be invested for clients.

Infrastructure Spending :

(note: for new readers who visit every day, I will repeat this section on the infrastructure from time to time).

As the recession and bear market were intensifying in the fall of 2009, I speculated that  infrastructure spending would get a high priority for a recovery. I wrote articles for Equities Magazine and compiled information I anticipated would be useful.

I was wrong, infrastructure spending  got a low priority, and today I am sure the administration has its regrets.

Infrastructure may yet get a play.

What is attractive about this kind of spending is it stands to employ a lot of people and it can be funded by some government spending, but to a greater degree by private investment.

When I did my initial research on the nation’s infrastructure, I was surprised  to find it encompassed 15 different categories: Aviation, Bridges, Dams, Drinking Water, Energy, Hazardous Waste, Inland Waterways, Levees, Public Parks and Recreation, Rail, Roads, Schools, Solid Waste, Transit, Wastewater.

In 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers  (ASCE) gave each category a “grade" (A through D-)

I was shocked to learn the GPA for all categories averages a “D,” with an estimated need for an  investment of $2.2 trillion !

Their 140 page study is available on the following web site.  (Some pages are in full color, so copy with care or it’ll chew up your color ink)

These infrastructure categories  encompass most of the United States. Addressing their vast deficiencies would employ a significant number of workers at all skill levels for many years. Every politician  in both Houses should drool at the potential in the districts they serve.

With all categories of our infrastructure begging for attention, it is beyond comprehension that  our nations priorities are squandered abroad. Time to come home.

There is a move afoot to establish a facility for funding infrastructure projects sponsored by  Senators John Kerry (D), Mark Warner (D) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R).  The vehicle would be the BUILD Act, introduced earlier this year by Senator Kerry and modeled after the  Export-Import Bank Created during the Great Depression.

Whether this will be a facility for funding infrastructure investments is unknown.  Whether Congress approves  additional infrastructure spending is unknown. I thought the following information would be helpful in the event our government decides to pursue this route for job creation while addressing an enormous need.

So what’s the best play ? An ETF may sound like an easy answer, however one of the problems with Infrastructure ETFs is they are generally loaded with utility stocks, ergo not  pure plays.

I compiled a list of 39 stocks  (not recommendations) with exposure to various categories of infrastructure spending. but have not crunched numbers – a massive job and I currently don’t recommend stocks.  But, this is a start.

There is no guarantee that the government will address the issue, or that any of these companies will benefit enough to have a significant impact on its stock. Eight of the ten largest highway builders are privately owned.

For the most part, these are meat and potatoes companies, NOT alternate energy companies.

ABB Ltd. (ABB), Aecom Tech (ACM), Alamo Gp (ALG), Ameron Int’l (AMN), Astec Inds. (ASTE), AZZ Inc. (AZZ), Caterpillar (CAT), Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI), Cemex (CX), Colfax  (CFX), Deere (DE), Dover (DOV), Eaton (ETN), Emcor Gp. (EME), Gardner Denver (GDI), General Electric (GE), Gorman-Rupp (GRC), Granite Const’n (GVA), Idex (IEX), Insituform Tech. (INSU), Jacobs Eng. (JEC), Joy Global (JOYG), KBR (KBR), Layne Christensen (LAYN), Lindsay (LNN), Manitowoc (MTW), Martin Marietta (MLM), Mastec (MTZ), MYR Gp (MYRG), Pike Electric (PIKE), Primoris Svcs (PRIM), Shaw Gp.(SHAW), Sterling Const’n (STRL), Terex (TEX), Thompson Creek Metals (TC), Transcanada (TRP), Unites States Lime & Mnrls (USLM), URS Corp. (URS), Valmont (VMI), Vulcan Materials (VMC).

 George Brooks


The writer of Brooksie’s Daily Stock Market blog, George Brooks,  is not registered as an investment advisor.  Ideas expressed herein are the opinions of the writer, are for informational purposes, and are not to serve as the sole basis for any investment decision. Readers are expected to assume full responsibility for conducting their own research pursuant to investment decisions in keeping with their tolerance for risk

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:


Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
ABB ABB Ltd 20.53 -1.55 -7.02 5,638,944
ACM AECOM 27.37 -0.13 -0.47 1,068,471
ALG Alamo Group Inc. 64.11 -0.55 -0.85 32,009
ASTE Astec Industries Inc. 53.79 0.26 0.49 78,019
AZZ AZZ Inc. 53.15 -0.30 -0.56 107,476
CAT Caterpillar Inc. 83.01 -1.12 -1.33 5,002,849
CBI Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. 27.62 0.39 1.43 1,255,008
CFX Colfax Corporation 32.01 2.62 8.91 1,892,738
CX Cemex S.A.B. de C.V. Sponsored ADR 8.96 -0.07 -0.78 13,471,066
DE Deere & Company 87.00 -0.04 -0.05 1,998,024
DOV Dover Corporation 67.49 -1.09 -1.59 1,697,768
EME EMCOR Group Inc. 59.75 3.49 6.20 1,390,905
ETN Eaton Corporation PLC 62.29 -1.92 -2.99 4,973,746
GE General Electric Co 28.63 -0.24 -0.83 25,400,645
GRC Gorman-Rupp Company (The) 23.48 -0.50 -2.09 34,520
GVA Granite Construction Incorporated 42.71 -1.65 -3.72 394,388
HDP Hortonworks Inc. 7.76 0.15 1.97 477,472
IEX IDEX Corporation 86.01 -0.19 -0.22 331,595
JEC Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. 50.68 -0.19 -0.37 496,036
KBR KBR Inc. 14.75 0.07 0.48 852,180
LAYN Layne Christensen Company 8.57 -0.17 -1.95 64,239
LNN Lindsay Corporation 78.10 0.03 0.04 70,081
MLM Martin Marietta Materials Inc. 176.89 -1.13 -0.63 627,677
MTW Manitowoc Company Inc. (The) 4.04 -0.02 -0.49 795,048
MTZ MasTec Inc. 27.75 -0.70 -2.46 582,282
MYRG MYR Group Inc. 29.20 0.12 0.41 68,433
PRIM Primoris Services Corporation 19.68 0.08 0.41 91,167
STRL Sterling Construction Company Inc 7.68 0.02 0.26 99,055
TC TC n/a n/a n/a 0
TEX Terex Corporation 23.63 0.02 0.08 610,138
TRP TransCanada Corporation 45.85 -0.04 -0.09 664,691
USLM United States Lime & Minerals Inc. 66.98 -0.04 -0.06 1,757
VMC Vulcan Materials Company (Holding Company) 111.84 -0.36 -0.32 681,372
VMI Valmont Industries Inc. 126.35 0.00 0.00 155,488


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