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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Lisa Navarro | Posted on: April 20th, 2020 | 0 Comments

1. RECENT BOUNCE – 4 weeks ago (Monday 3/23/20), the S&P 500 closed at 2237. In the 18 trading days since then, the index has gained +28.7% (total return) to close at 2875 last Friday (4/17/20). 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. BEEN THERE BEFORE – The S&P 500 closed at 2875 last Friday 4/17/20, a closing value first exceeded by the 63-year old stock index on 8/24/18 (source: BTN Research).

3. WILL THEY LOOK TO WASHINGTON FOR HELP? – 88% of more than 2,400 city officials across the USA anticipate the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus will result in budget shortfalls that will force them to reduce services and cut staff. The loss of sales tax and fee revenue occurred as businesses have closed and travel and tourism has disappeared (source: National League of Cities).

4. YOU GET A WHOLE ROW TO YOURSELF – 95,085 travelers went through TSA screening at US airports last Thursday 4/16/20, down 96% from the 2,616,158 screened passengers on Tuesday 4/16/19 or one year earlier (source: Transportation Security Administration).

5. IT’S RAINING NOW – All 50 US states maintain a “rainy day” fund that may be accessed as a result of an economic emergency. As of 7/01/19, California had $19.2 billion set aside, Texas had $7.8 billion, New York had $2.5 billion while Illinois had just $4 million (source: National Association of State Budget Officers).

6. STATES NEED HELP – The CARES Act includes $139 billion of relief for all 50 states. US governors have requested additional support of $500 billion from Congress (source: National Governors Association).

7. REAL NUMBER – The USA’s 3/31/20 unemployment rate is 4.4%, representing 7.1 million out-of-work Americans. But the government uses employment data collected only through the 12th of the month to compile the monthly jobless rate. Adding the number of workers who have filed for “first-time” unemployment benefits from 3/12/20 to 4/12/20 (a 4-week total of 22.0 million) to the 7.1 million individuals who were out of a job as of 3/12/20 suggests that 29 million Americans may now be out-of-work, equal to an 18% jobless rate (source: Department of Labor).

8. PEOPLE ARE NOT SPENDING – Retail sales in the United States in March 2020 declined 8.7% from the previous month to $483 billion. The worst month-over-month decline in retail sales during the 2008-2010 mortgage crisis was a drop of just 3.0% in December 2008 (source: Census Bureau).

9. YET ANOTHER PROGRAM – The Federal Reserve announced the “Main Street Lending” program on 4/09/20, a $600 billion initiative targeted at mid-size businesses, i.e., American companies with up to 10,000 workers and annual revenues less than $2.5 billion. The loans are 4-years in length and allow for the deferral of “principal and interest” payments for the initial 12 months. The loans have to be at least $1 million and cannot be larger than $25 million (source: Federal Reserve).

10. WHAT WILL IT BE THIS YEAR? – Personal bankruptcies, i.e., nonbusiness bankruptcies, in the United States in 2019 totaled 752,160, down 51% from 1,536,799 bankruptcy filings in 2010 (source: United States Courts).

11. AROUND THE GLOBE – The International Monetary Fund forecasted last week that the global economy will contract in 2020, rebound in 2021, and by 12/31/21 the economies of “most countries” around the world will be 5% smaller than the level they had previously reached as of 12/31/19 (source: Internal Monetary Fund).

12. THE DOCTOR WILL SEE YOU NOW – Just 1% of the US population is responsible for 22% of annual health care expenditures in the USA. At the other extreme, the 50% of the US population that utilizes the least amount of the health care system accounts for just 3% of annual health care expenditures in our country (source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 2017).

13. JUST MY CELL – 90 million landline phones in the United States have been eliminated in the last 20 years. There are 124 million households in the United States as of 12/31/19 (source: USTelecom).

14. EXPENSIVE – The 2 highest “effective property tax rate” states are Illinois and New Jersey, defined as property taxes collected divided by the fair market value of the real estate (source: Attom Data Solutions).

15. FOOTBALL – 99 of 112 athletic directors surveyed (88%) from Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools favor an expanded College Football Playoff when the current 4-team playoff structure ends after the 2025 regular season. 81 of the 99 ADs favor an 8-team playoff to determine the national champion (source: Brett McMurphy, Stadium).

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