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Morningstar Investment Conference

Industrial-sector-funds could boost your bottom line

You'll be forgiven for thinking that the industrial sector isn't all that different from the U.S. economy at large. After all, the nation's venerable stock index, the Dow Jones industrial average, still uses the word "industrial" more than a century after its 1896 inception. But in 2014, the index of 30 companies that make up the Dow contains only five industrial names, representing only about 13 percent of its value. And industrials—which include electrical equipment and machinery, and a significant amount of transportation-related funds—make up only 11 percent of the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index.Although there's a high correlation between industrial-sector stocks and the S&P 500, those industrial stocks don't merely mirror the behavior of the broader market but amplify it. That trend is captured in a statistical measure known as the standard deviation, which measures the volatility of a stock, or group of stocks, vs. the movement of the overall market. The 10-year standard dev...

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