Lewisburg holds lead, Milton moves up, in stock market challenge – Sunbury Daily Item

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Lewisburg Area teams stayed on top of the high school and middle school divisions for the third week of the Stock Market Challenge.

Milton Area teams, meanwhile, moved up in the rankings. A Milton high school team moved into second place. The school was in third last week. A middle school team improved that school’s standing from sixth to fifth place.

Teams of students from schools in Northumberland, Montour, Union and Snyder counties are managing hypothetical investments as part of the Stock Market Challenge, this year operated by the Pennsylvania Council of Financial Literacy. The Northumberland National Bank and The Daily Item are again sponsoring the competition.

In the 10-week competition, students manage a hypothetical $100,000 portfolio and invest in stocks chosen from the American, New York and NASDAQ exchanges. The competition is designed to teach students about investing and encourages financial literacy.

Teacher Seth Reitz, adviser to the Milton Area Middle School competitors, has been working with his students to teach them how the market works.

“We looked at Walmart’s earnings, they weren’t where analysts thought they would be,” said Reitz, who is overseeing about 160 students competitors, most of them sixth-graders.

Mark Ritter, executive vice president of The Northumberland National Bank, said market volatility continued last week as the stock market coped with rising interest rates.

But, he added, “The U.S. economy remains very strong.”

Reitz said that like Tris West, adviser to the Lewisburg Area Middle School teams, he is telling his students the game isn’t like real life.

“Walmart lost money in their portfolios. If they (investors) are able to hold onto it long term, they’re going to make money,” he said. “They’ll make their money back maybe three months from now.”

But the Stock Market Challenge is just 10 weeks, with seven weeks to go. The game is about buying and trading to make as much money as possible in a short period.

“I tell them to spend all their money, borrow money to invest, just for the game,” Reitz said. “But in real life, I wouldn’t do that.”

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