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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Lisa Navarro | Posted on: May 26th, 2020 | 0 Comments

1. THIS IS WHERE WE ARE – The S&P 500 is down 7.8% YTD (total return) as of the close of trading last Friday 5/22/20. Just 92 stocks in the index are up YTD. In calendar year 2019, only 62 stocks in the S&P 500 were down for the entire year. 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. THE WORST – Since peaking on 2/19/20, the S&P 500 lost 33.8% (total return) over the next 23 trading days through Monday 3/23/20. That’s the worst 23-day trading period in the last 30 years (source: BTN Research).

3. NEARLY THE BEST – Since bottoming on 3/23/20, the S&P 500 has gained +32.6% (total return) over the next 43 trading days through last Friday 5/22/20. That’s the 2nd best 43-day trading period in the last 30 years, bested only by a +37.8% gain (total return) achieved between 3/09/09 and 5/08/09, the first 43 trading days of the 11-year bull market that ended on 2/19/20 (source: BTN Research).

4. NEW NOTE – The US government auctioned off $20 billion of new 20-year Treasury notes last week on 5/20/20, its first sale of 20-year paper since 1986. Subsequent auctions of 20-year Treasury notes are scheduled each month going forward. In 1986, the auction of 20-year notes occurred quarterly (source: Treasury Department).

5. RECORD SIZE, RECORD YIELD – The US government auctioned off $32 billion of new 10-year Treasury notes on 5/12/20, the largest sale of 10-year notes in our history. The notes were sold at a yield of 0.70%, a record low yield at auction. The government has issued 10-year notes since 1790 (source: Treasury Department).

6. PANDEMIC DEATHS – 8,598 Americans died from the COVID-19 pandemic in the 1-week ending last Friday 5/22/20 at 9am ET, bringing the national total to 95,502. The number of COVID-19 deaths has averaged 13,498 per week over the previous 6 weeks (source: Meet the Press – First Read).

7. A DISINCENTIVE TO GO BACK TO WORK – An estimated 65%-75% of out-of-work Americans who are receiving unemployment benefits are being paid more money per week than they were receiving pre-pandemic from their employment (source: J.P. Morgan “Eye on the Market”).

8. UP BUT STILL WAY DOWN – During April 2019, an average of 2.34 million passengers were screened each day by the TSA at airports across the US. Air passenger travel deceased quickly following President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on 3/13/20. The low point for air travelers was just 87,534 flyers on 4/14/20, off 96% from the April 2019 daily average. As states have hit the “reboot button,” airline passenger traffic has inched upward, reaching 318,449 last Thursday 5/21/20 (source: Transportation Security Administration).

9. A JACKSON A DAY – Retail sales in the USA in April 2020 were $403.9 billion, down 16.4% or $79.5 billion from just a month earlier. The monthly decline is equal to every US household (124.4 million) spending $21 less per day during April than the dollar amount they spent per day in March (source: Commerce Department).

10. FEWER FOR SALE – There were 1.47 million homes for sale in the USA at the end of April 2020, down 20% from the 1.83 million homes for sale in April 2019 and down 34% from the 2.22 million homes for sale 5 years ago in April 2015 (source: National Association of Realtors).

11. HALF A YEAR – The shortest US recession in the last 100 years was the 6-month economic downturn that ran from January 1980 to July 1980 (source: National Bureau of Economic Research).

12. ALL FOR EXACTLY THE SAME SERVICES – Private US health insurance pays on average $241 for health care services for every $100 that Medicare pays and for every $72 that Medicaid pays (source: RAND, Health Affairs).

13. IN ONE MONTH – The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed at $33.25 a barrel last Friday 5/22/20, up from $13.78 a barrel just a month earlier on Wednesday 4/22/20 (source: NYMEX).

14. PANDEMIC PAIN – 46 of the 50 states have fiscal years (FY) that run from July 1st to June 30th, with 4 states (New York, Texas, Alabama and Michigan) having other FY end-dates. The collective projected spending of all 50 states for FY 2020 was $900 billion, to be offset by collective projected tax revenue of $900 billion. The COVID-19 pandemic has upset the financial forecasts of all 50 US states, now anticipating a collective loss of $105 billion for FY 2020 and $290 billion for FY 2021 (source: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities).

15. IT’S THE SHOES – Basketball superstar Michael Jordan wore 2 different sizes of shoes – his left shoe was a size 13 and his right shoe was a size 13 ½ (source: Sotheby’s New York).

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