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The Top 10 Most Popular Stocks In Congress: CRP

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 11/22/11 02:05 PM ET   Updated: 11/22/11 02:05 PM ET

Two banks rank among the most popular stocks for members of Congress, in addition to other notable companies including Exxon Mobil and Microsoft.

The assets of some members of Congress may exceed half a million dollars, with much of that worth invested in stocks, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (h/t CNBC). Popular investments among politicians include well-known companies such as General Electric and Pfizer.

Critics have called into question the legality of lawmakers owning stock, after CBS's 60 Minutes published a piece alleging Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi used insider information to make money off of well-timed trades. The investigation by the news program claimed Pelosi and Boehner had used non-public information gained during their day-to-day duties to make profitable stock investments but the claims seem largely unfounded, according to The Huffington Post. Both lawmakers have denied any wrongdoing.

But, the 60 Minutes allegations may have some evidence to support them. According to an academic report, between 1985 and 2001 members of Congress saw "significant positive abnormal returns" on their investments, beating the market by around six percent.

"In the course of performing their normal duties, members of Congress have access to non-public information that could have a substantial impact on certain businesses, industries or the economy as a whole," the authors of the report wrote. "If used as the basis for common stock transactions, such information could yield significant personal trading profits."

Here are the 10 most popular stock holdings of members of Congress, according to the Center for Responsive Politics:

10. Exxon Mobil
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Members invested: 42
Maximum total value of holdings: $11.09 million
Minimum total value of holdings: $2.74 million

Top Congressional Investors:

John Carter (R.-Texas) - $1 million to $5 million
F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R.-Wis.) - $551,185 to $1.05 million
Michael McCaul (R.-Texas) - $500,002 to $1 million
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