FOOL ON THE HILL
50 Stocks, 50 States

Rick Munarriz looks ahead to prove that the stock market is still working. He goes state by state, singling out a relevant public company everywhere he goes. America rocks, even when you cross state lines.

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By Rick Aristotle Munarriz (TMF Edible)
September 11, 2002

I didn't earn this.

Today's column was a random assignment, and it wasn't until I jotted it down in my personal calendar earlier this month that the magnitude of the date hit home. There is so much worth writing, yet something tells me you've read it all before. Maybe you're here because you want a respite from the retrospectives. Maybe you're here because you're all cried out, or filled with patriotic fervor, or just stumbled across this site by accident, hoping to find some online levity.

I love this country. Absent the words to pay just tribute to those who died, so many of whom worked in the financial services industry, I think it's probably best that I prove to you why this country, and the market that oils the machine, is so amazing. Two towers and a chunk of the Pentagon may have come crumbling down, with thousands of lives lost last year, but capitalism is not standing at half-mast today.

Terrorism may have rattled the wall, and accounting shenanigans may have littered the street, but we've still got Wall Street. The market took a commemorative breather before getting back to work this morning. No one will argue that it's business as usual, but it is business, and despite what we've seen and read this past year, not all businesses are corrupt or floundering

We have 50 dynamic states in the Union. If I'm allowed to raise a glass while I lower my head, I would like to take you on a cross-country trek, singling out 50 amazing publicly traded companies -- one from each U.S. state. So buckle up. Here we go.

Alabama -- Movie Gallery (Nasdaq: MOVI) -- We like to watch. Really. Earnings up 60% this year.

Alaska -- General Communication (Nasdaq: GNCMA) -- Bringing new meaning to the term "cold calls."

Arizona -- PETsMART (Nasdaq: PETM) -- Not one for the dogs, this stock has tripled since Sept. 11, 2001.

Arkansas -- Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) -- Coming soon to a Supercenter near you.

California -- Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) -- Inside. Outside. Everywhere.

Colorado -- Coors (NYSE: RKY) -- Rocky Mountain (near a 52-week) High.

Connecticut -- General Electric (NYSE: GE) -- Looking for the next great Welching machine.

Delaware -- DuPont (NYSE: DD) -- The chemicals between.

Florida -- Carnival (NYSE: CCL) -- It's a cruise, Miss Isle.

Georgia -- Coca Cola (NYSE: KO) -- The real pop star.

Hawaii -- Bank of Hawaii (NYSE: BOH) -- Lei some cash on me.

Idaho -- Micron Technology (NYSE: MU) -- In a state of spud studs, this is the real chipmaker.

Illinois -- McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) -- Billions served -- in operating profits.

Indiana -- Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) -- The pros of Prozac.

Iowa -- Maytag (NYSE: MYG) -- Home is where the hardware is.

Kansas -- Payless Shoesource (NYSE: PSS) -- Click those shoes, Dorothy; you're still in Kansas.

Kentucky -- Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) -- Taco Bell. KFC. Pizza Hut. Lunch break.

Louisiana -- Entergy (NYSE: ETR) -- It's got the power.

Maine -- IDEXX Labs (Nasdaq: IDXX) -- You can vet on this.

Maryland -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) -- The best defense.

Massachusetts -- Gillette (NYSE: G) -- A close shave. And then some.

Michigan -- General Motors (NYSE: GM) -- The vehicle vehicle.

Minnesota -- 3M (NYSE: MMM) -- Company has a way of sticking around.

Mississippi -- Delta and Pine Land (NYSE: DLP) -- Seed capital.

Missouri -- Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) -- Beer here.

Montana -- Stillwater Mining (NYSE: SWC) -- Platinum. Palladium. All mine.

Nebraska -- Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) -- Standing tall in the Buffett line.

Nevada -- International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT) -- You're thinking gaming, but it's slots.

New Hampshire -- Timberland (NYSE: TBL) -- Take a hike. Uphill.

New Jersey -- Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) -- Tylenol. Band-Aid. No more tears.

New Mexico -- Thornburg Mortgage (NYSE: TMA) -- There's interest in housing.

New York -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) -- Big Blue. Big bucks.

North Carolina -- Krispy Kreme (NYSE: KKD) -- Eat your heart out.

North Dakota -- MDU Resources (NYSE: MDU) -- Concrete plans to grovel for gravel.

Ohio -- Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) -- The Tide is high.

Oklahoma -- Kerr-McGee (NYSE: KMG) -- Fueling the future.

Oregon -- Nike (NYSE: NKE) -- Just shoe it.

Pennsylvania -- HJ Heinz (NYSE: HNZ) -- Playing the game of ketchup.

Rhode Island -- Hasbro (NYSE: HAS) -- A monopoly on Monopoly.

South Carolina -- Sonoco (NYSE: SON) -- Wrapping things up.

South Dakota -- Black Hills (NYSE: BKH) -- The Hills are alive, with energy.

Tennessee -- Federal Express (NYSE: FDX) -- Americans didn't invent the carrier pigeon; we simply made it better.

Texas -- Dell Computer (NYSE: DELL) -- Giving the boot-up to the two-step.

Utah -- Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) -- Working networking.

Vermont -- IDX Systems (Nasdaq: IDXC) -- Is there a doctor in the back of the house?

Virginia -- Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) -- Home loan, sweet home loan.

Washington -- Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) -- They do Windows.

West Virginia -- United Bankshares (Nasdaq: UBSI) -- You can bank on 29 years of rising dividends.

Wisconsin -- Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HDI) -- Hog wild in the cheese state.

Wyoming  -- U.S. Energy (Nasdaq: USEG) -- Hire drill.  

Done.

See, that didn't take too long, and every state matters. Even the bluest of blue highways will ultimately lead you to green. So, yes, you can literally buy into America. Just don't sell it short.

Rick Aristotle Munarriz still remembers and always will. While his stateside tour was thorough, he does not own any of these 50 stocks at the moment. Rick's stock holdings can be viewed online, as can the Fool's disclosure policy.