In perhaps the ultimate example of irony, the Occupy Wall Street movement now has its own stock index. Created by Minyanville Media Inc. columnist Michael Comeau, the tidy collection of eight stocks is designed to represent the kinds of corporate villains that have sent so many protesters into the streets.
“We're not making any calls one way or the other; we just want to see what happens” with the stocks in the index, Mr. Comeau said.
The list of companies was compiled by Mr. Comeau and his colleagues following research of the protests that included interviews with protesters, and the reading of blogs and other news reports on the subject.
The complete index is BP PLC, General Electric Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Lockheed Martin Corp., News Corp., SLM Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Each company was added to the index for a reason related to what Mr. Comeau learned from the protesters. “J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs were the biggest targets because they created mortgage-backed securities that were designed to fail,” he said.
Mr. Comeau, who said he developed the index not as a statement of his own but to reflect the sentiment that he is observing, acknowledged the absence of a centralized theme among the protesters. “The whole thing is an expression of the fact that people see uncertainty about the future and they don't see any solutions,” he said. “Everybody is showing up with whatever causes they're angry about.”
Jeff Benjamin is a senior editor with InvestmentNews, a sister publication of Pensions & Investments.