By The Numbers March 2019
1. ALMOST TEN YEARS – In the first 3-years following its 3/09/09 bear market closing low, the S&P 500 gained +114% through 3/09/12 (i.e., total return result including the impact of reinvested dividends). In years 4-10 (i.e., the next 7 years) from 3/09/12 to last Friday 3/01/19, the S&P 500 has gained an additional +139%. 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. NOT ALWAYS UP – The nearly 10-year bull market run for the S&P 500 that began on the morning of 3/10/09 has gained +411% (total return) through last Friday 3/01/19, an annualized return of +17.8% per year. During the entire 10 years, the index has had 6 separate “corrections” of at least 10% but less than 20%. The ending dates of the 6 “corrections” are 7/02/10, 10/03/11, 8/25/15, 2/11/16, 2/08/18 and 12/24/18 (source: BTN Research).
3. WHAT DO THEY KNOW? – 6 days before the start of the current 10-year bull market for the S&P 500 that began on 3/10/09, 70% of stock investors surveyed were “bearish.” Last week, just 20% of stock investors surveyed were “bearish” (source: American Association of Individual Investors).
4. WORST TO FIRST – The worst performing stock in the S&P 500 in 2018 lost 67.1% last year. That same stock is ranked #1 among all stocks in the index this year through 2/28/19, up +67.7% YTD (source: BTN Research).
5. PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE – Only 16% of 1,013 adults surveyed believe that stock market performance “during the decades before I was born” is a “very or extremely important” factor to be considered in making financial decisions (source: J. Choi and A. Robertson’s study “What Matters to Individual Investors?”).
6. GIVE ME THREE – Unless the government revises the nation’s GDP growth for 2018 on 3/28/19 to show at least +3% year-over-year growth (the 2018 result was initially reported at +2.9% on Thursday 2/28/19), it will be the 13th consecutive year of “sub +3%” growth (2006-2018). The next longest streak in US history of “sub +3%” growth is the 4 years from 1930-1933. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the annual market value of all goods and services produced domestically by the United States (source: Commerce Department).
7. DEMAND EXCEEDS SUPPLY – 4.1 million Brits were waiting to be admitted to a hospital in England to have non-urgent surgery as of 9/30/18 (e.g., cataract surgery, hip replacement surgery), the highest number of citizens waiting for surgery since August 2007 (source: National Health Service England).
8. BABY BONDS – Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker has proposed a government-funded savings account for newborn children. The “American Opportunity Accounts” would be established with $1,000 for every child born in the country, augmented annually by $0 – $2,000 depending upon the size of a family’s income. The accounts, managed by the Treasury Department, would seek a target return of approximately +3% per year and could not be accessed until the child is age 18 (source: American Opportunity Accounts Act).
9. OWNERS AND RENTERS – The 110.7 million households that existed in the United States on 12/31/08 were split 68/32 between 74.7 million owners and 36.0 million renters. The 122.5 million households in the United States on 12/31/18 were split 65/35 between 79.4 million owners and 43.1 million renters (source: Census Bureau).
10. IT’S GETTNG BETTER ALL THE TIME – American banks repossessed 230,000 homes in 2018, 292,000 homes in 2017, 379,000 homes in 2016 and 450,000 homes in 2015 (source: ATTOM Data Solutions).
11. MAESTRO – Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan turns 93 years old this Wednesday (3/06/19). Greenspan was the Fed’s Chairman for 18 ½ years beginning 8/11/87 through 1/31/06 (source: Federal Reserve).
12. UNION CARD – In the last 35 years, the percentage of American workers that are members of a union has been cut in half, dropping from 20.1% in 1983 to 10.5% in 2018. Hawaii had the highest percentage (23.1%) of union workers in 2018 while North Carolina (2.7%) had the lowest percentage (source: Department of Labor).
13. BACK AND FORTH – In national elections going back to 1928, the United States has elected 7 Republican presidents (beginning with Hoover and ending with Trump) and 7 Democratic presidents (beginning with FDR and ending with Obama) (source: BTN Research).
14. SHRINKING INDUSTRY – There were 457,800 workers in the newspaper industry in June 1990, a total that has fallen to 139,900 by December 2018 (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).
15. BACK-TO-BACK – The 2000 New York Yankees professional baseball team was the last major league team to repeat as World Series champs, a feat the Boston Red Sox will attempt to duplicate in 2019 (source: MLB).