1. NOT MUCH SINCE THEN
Since reaching an all-time closing high on 5/21/15 (i.e., 11 months ago), the S&P 500 has gained +0.1% (total return). The S&P 500 consists of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity and industry group representation. It is a market value weighted index with each stock’s weight in the index proportionate to its market value (source: BTN Research).
2. PREFERRED CHOICE FOR INVESTING
37% of college graduates surveyed in early April 2016 believe stocks are the top “long-term investment” available to them, besting bonds, real estate, gold or CDs. However only 17% of non-college graduates believe stocks are the best “long-term investment” (source: Gallup).
The top performing individual stock in the S&P 500 in 2015 gained +134.4% last year. That same stock is down 16.3% YTD through 4/22/16. The worst performing individual stock in the S&P 500 in 2015 was down 77.0% last year. That same stock is up +45.6% YTD through 4/22/16 (source: BTN Research).
4. DIFFERENT THIS TIME
Usually a low national unemployment rate is coupled with a higher inflation rate, i.e., more Americans working creates greater disposable income which leads to a higher demand for products which tends to move inflation upward. As of 4/30/08, the nation’s unemployment rate was 5.0% and trailing 1-year inflation (using the Consumer Price Index) was +3.9%. As of 3/31/16, the nation’s unemployment rate was 5.0% and trailing 1-year inflation (using the Consumer Price Index) was +0.9% (source: Department of Labor).
5. SHOW ME THE MONEY
Just under 3 of every 5 Millennials surveyed (58%) in late February 2016 cited “an improved quality of work life” as more important than “financial benefits” when they are evaluating a job offer. “Millennials” are defined as the 75 million Americans ages 19-35 in 2016, i.e., individuals born from 1981-1997 (source: Fidelity Investments).
6. NO FANCY DEGREE
20 current members of the House of Representatives (out of 435 members in the House) have no educational degree beyond a high school diploma (source: Congressional Research Service).
7. SIX YEARS LATER
As of Friday 4/22/16, only 1 bank in the United States has failed YTD and required a bailout from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). As of 4/22/10, 50 banks had failed YTD (source: FDIC).
8. MOSTLY SHORT-TERM BORROWING
Of the $1.633 trillion in bills, notes and bonds that the US Treasury has issued YTD in 2016 through Friday 4/22/16 (equal to $102 billion borrowed per week), only 9% of the debt has been 10-year notes or 30 year bonds (source: Treasury Department).
9. THREE MILLION
2.99 million more Americans are employed as of 3/31/16 than were employed as of 3/31/15. There were 151.32 million employed Americans as of 3/31/16 compared to 148.33 million employed Americans as of 3/31/15 (source: Department of Labor).
10. A LOT MORE RENTERS
As of the end of 2015, there were 117.8 million households in the United States, split 64/36 between homeowners (75.2 million) and renters (42.6 million). Since the end of 2011 (i.e., 4 years earlier), the number of homeowners (75.3 million as of 12/31/11) has declined by 100,000 while the number of renters (38.8 million as of 12/31/11) has increased by +3.8 million (source: Census Bureau).
11. YOUNG BLOOD
Of the 5.26 million existing home sales in 2015, 30% were completed by first-time home buyers (source: National Association of Realtors).
12. IT WILL HAPPEN ONE DAY
The United States has experienced 18 recessions in the last 100 years, an average of 1 recession every 67 months. The last recession in the United States ended on 6/30/09 or 82 months ago (source: National Bureau of Economic Research).
13. AND STOCKS DID WHAT?
The S&P 500 fell 35.0% (total return) during the last recession in the United States, an economic downturn that lasted 18 months from 12/31/07 to 6/30/09 (source: BTN Research).
14. TRADING PARTNERS
52% of US exports in calendar year 2015 were sold to buyers in Canada, Mexico or the 28-nation European Union (source: Commerce Department).
15. JUST LIKE NASCAR
The 2 ½ inch x 2 ½ inch patches that NBA players will begin wearing on the front left side of their jerseys during the regular season that begins in late October 2017 are expected to generate $150 million annually in revenue. Each of the 30 NBA teams will keep 50% of their individual ad revenue and the other 50% will go into a league-wide revenue sharing pool (source: NBA).
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