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Congress Loves These 50 Stocks


Guess which is number 1.

Congress likes to trade stocks as much as Raj Rajaratnam.

Pictured above: Raj's investments not working out too well for him.

A study by Professor Alan Ziobrowski at Georgia State University concluded legislators in Congress make “significant abnormal returns.”

“How do politicians who arrive in Washington, D.C. as men and women of modest means leave as millionaires?” Sarah Palin asked in the Wall Street Journal.

Here's an answer to her question: “We have every reason to believe they are trading on information that the rest of us don’t have,” reports Ziobrowski.

Simply put, members of Congress are making millions through insider trading. Keep in mind, Martha Stewart went to jail and hedge-funder Raj Rajaratnam was fined $92 million (and will also go to jail) because they dabbled in insider trading.

But they were just voters.

Members of Congress have been using non-public information to make stock trades--and there's no law against it which, technically, mean that they are doing it legally.

How do they get away with it? They just don't pass a law against themselves, reports CBS News.

“The Securities and Exchange Act does not apply to members of Congress, congressional staff, or even lobbyists," says Craig Holman at consumer watchdog organization Public Citizen.

Each year, the Center for Responsive Politics researches the finances of the U.S. Congress.

While insider trading laws do not apply to Senators and House members, they are required to file annual disclosures of their holdings and investments.

These are the 50 most popular stocks in Congress, according to the number of members currently invested in each stock:

  1. General Electric (NYSE:GE)  94 members
  2. Protecter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)  74 members
  3. Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO)  72 members
  4. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)  70 members
  5. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)  68 members
  6. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)  61 members
  7. AT&T (NYSE:T)  57 members
  8. Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC)  54 members
  9. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)  54 members
  10. Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)  54 members
  11. Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM)  53 members
  12. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)  51 members
  13. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO)  49 members
  14. JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM)  49 members
  15. PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE:PEP)  47 members
  16. Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC)  45 members
  17. Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKA)  43 members
  18. Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS)  41 members
  19. Home Depot (NYSE:HD)  40 members
  20. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ)  38 members
  21. McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD)  38 members
  22. Merck & Co (NYSE:MRK)  37 members
  23. Citigroup (NYSE:C)  37 members
  24. Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)  35 members
  25. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT)  31 members
  26. 3M Co (NYSE:MMM)  30 members
  27. Oracle Corp (NASDAQ:ORCL)  30 members
  28. Apache Corp (NYSE:APA)  29 members
  29. Qualcomm Inc (NASDAQ:QCOM)  28 members
  30. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)  27 members
  31. Ford Motor (NYSE:F)  26 members
  32. Conocophillips (NYSE:COP)  26 members
  33. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS)  26 members
  34. Time Warner (NYSE:TWX)  26 members
  35. United Technologies (NYSE:UTX)  25 members
  36. Chevron Corp (NYSE:CVX)  25 members
  37. Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY)  25 members
  38. BP (NYSE:BP)  24 members
  39. Amgen Inc (NASDAQ:AMGN)  24 members
  40. Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK)  24 members
  41. Emerson (NYSE:EMR)  24 members
  42. Kraft Foods (NYSE:KFT)  24 members
  43. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NASDAQ:TEVA)  24 members
  44. Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB)  23 members
  45. EMC Corp (NYSE:EMC)  23 members
  46. Comcast Corp (NASDAQ:CMCSA)  23 members
  47. Altria Group (NYSE:MO)  23 members
  48. CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS)  22 members
  49. Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN)  21 members
  50. Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT)  21 members

[Editor's note: portions of the above originally appeared on Wall St. Cheat Sheet.]

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