Sillicon valley stocks and St. Louis stocks

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Tech for Silicon valley and agriculture for St. Louis.

Silicon Valley Stocks
We went to Sillicon valley for the holidays and obviously, stock is one common topic in family reunion and friends gathering. Note stock options makes up a significant portion of employee’s compensations for some of the technology companies there.

I happened to read the San Jose Mercury News Jan 1, in which it has a nice summary of how Silicon valley stocks did in last year. In summary, the big tech (GOOG, AAPL) and IPOs (VMW, NetSuite) lead the Silicon valley stocks to a fairly good performance. Here are two articles I read: tech titan’s year; Valley’s big year for Wall St. debuts.

St. Louis stocks
I tried to look up St. Louis stocks 2007 performance at stltoday, the web site of St. Louis Post Dispatch, but could not find any. So I just list St. Louis companies I know.

I believe Monsanto (MON), one of the largest agriculture company in the world, is the No. 1 performer last year. MON is enjoying the global farm booming, and in a way the oil boom too. By the way, I live right across the street from the company. ADM and Bunge, another two agri play, also did well.

St. Charles based solar play MEMS (WFR) also faired well very amid the all the solar boom. Note WFR is a leader in this area.

It appears to me Agri is as sexy as tech lately, as the price of food, and ethanol continue to soar around the world. I think the (lack of ) supply and inflation both should be account for the price increase. But I don’t believe the world is facing famine.

On the other hand, Panera Bread suffered from the rising cost of bread, milk, and its stock is trading at low $30s. Will the new year give some relief to Panera (and Starbucks, Discover Financial Services, and many other consumer stocks not based in STL)? Not so from this first week’s tape: PNRA, SBUX, DFS all hit new lows this week.

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