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Northeast Utilities Rises on Investment `Flock to Safety'

Northeast Utilities, New England’s largest utility owner, rose to a record as investors sought a safe investment in the face of the European crisis and U.S. economic slowdown.

Northeast, based in Boston and Hartford, Connecticut, surged 2.1 percent to $39.88 at the close in New York, the highest since shares began trading publicly in 1980.

“Utilities in general are doing well recently,” Andrew Weisel, a New York-based analyst at Macquarie Capital USA Inc., said in a phone interview today. “The treasury yield is below 1.5 percent for the 10-year note whereas utility stocks yield over 4 percent on average. This is definitely a flock to safety.”

The Bloomberg Americas Utilities Index, which has gained 3.5 percent this year, today reached its highest level since September 2008. Northeast completed its $5.04 billion takeover of Nstar in April, creating the region’s largest utility owner.

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