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The Occupy Wall Street Index: 9 Companies the 99% Loves to Hate


Occupy Wall Street targets corporate evil, but does evil equal stock market gains?

7. Lockheed Martin (LMT). Occupy Wall Street protesters are vehemently anti-war, which has us targeting Lockheed Martin, the U.S. government's largest defense contractor. Aside from its sheer size, Lockheed deserves special mention for the controversial F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft program. That episode has seen the U.S. government drop a whopping $67 billion on planes that it probably didn't need.

That kind of dough could launch the war on poverty that many of the 99%, including Princeton's Cornel West, would like to see.

8. Wal-Mart (WMT). The Occupy Wall Street crowd is drawing favor from unions, including branches of the AFL-CIO, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and the American Federation of Teachers, among others. And Wal-Mart is more or less the best-known corporate opponent of organized labor in the world.

In a scathing 210-page report from 2007, Humans Right Watch scolded the company "for the sheer magnitude and aggressiveness of its anti-union apparatus," including a union hotline encouraging employees to tattle on each other.

9. SLM Corp. (SLM). If you read the incredibly popular We Are the 99% Tumblr blog, you'll see that a lot of folks are upset at having accumulated mountains of student-loan debt, only to face a crumbling job market.

SLM, which you may know as Sallie Mae, refers to itself as "the nation's No. 1 financial services company specializing in education." And that means it's profited from people gambling, albeit sometimes foolishly, on education as a way to a better life.

So How Does This Work?
We're keeping this experiment pretty simple. We backdated the Index to September 16, the last trading day before the protest hit New York, and equal-weighted the stocks. Over time, we're going to see how this basket of names performs against the S&P 500 Index.

Note that the performance of these stocks was not considered in our decidedly unscientific selection process. In other words, we didn't mess with the list to get a pre-planned surprise fit for a cheap headline.

So far, here's what we've seen:

Click to enlarge

No shocker here. Given that we're comparing large-cap stocks to a large-cap index, there isn't much disparity; the Occupy Wall Street Index is outperforming by about one percentage point thus far. So we'll call that a small, and perhaps temporary, victory for the 99%.

So can a company profit by misbehaving in the eyes of the 99%?

Can supposed corporate evil result in stock-market outperformance?

Stay tuned -- we're about to find out.

Unscientifically, of course.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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