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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Vanessa Guadiana | Posted on: January 5th, 2015 | 0 Comments

  1. FOR THE YEAR – The S&P 500 was positive on a total return basis during 8 of 12 months in calendar year 2014, gaining +13.7% for the year.  The stock index achieved 53 all-time record closing highs in 2014 in addition to the 45 record closes it set in 2013.  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 LONG-TERM AVERAGE – The S&P 500 stock index has gained an average of +9.9% per year (total return) over the last 50 years (i.e., the years 1965-2014).  No single calendar year actually gained +9.9% in the last half century.  The closest that any year came to the long-term historical average was in 1993 when the stock index gained +10.1% for the year (source: BTN Research).
  3. UP vs. DOWN – The split between “up” and “down” days for the S&P 500 over the last 50 years (i.e., 1965-2014) is 53% “up” and 47% “down.”  The split during calendar year 2014 was 57/43 (source: BTN Research).
  4. INSIDE THE INDEX – 46 of the 500 individual stocks (i.e., 9% of the stocks) in the S&P 500 gained at least +40% in 2014.  176 stocks (i.e., 35% of the stocks) gained at least +20%.  122 stocks (i.e., 24% of the stocks) finished the year with a stock price lower than where it started the year (source: BTN Research).
  5. BACK-TO-BACK – The top-performing individual stock in the S&P 500 in 2014 (based upon a +125% gain for the year) was ranked # 25 (out of 500 stocks) in 2013 while gaining +84%.  The 2nd-best performing individual stock in the S&P 500 in 2014 (based upon a +105% gain for the year) was ranked # 85 (out of 500 stocks) in 2013 while gaining +58%.  The 3rd-best performing individual stock in the S&P 500 in 2014 (based upon a +94% gain for the year) was ranked # 495 (out of 500 stocks) in 2013 while losing 27% (source: BTN Research).
  6. ONLY ONE DIRECTION TO GO – The top-performing stock in the S&P 500 in 2013 (based upon a +298% gain for the year) was ranked # 430 (out of 500 stocks) in 2014 while losing 7% (source: BTN Research).
  7. MISSING THE BEST – The total return for the S&P 500 was a gain of +13.7% (total return) in 2014.  If you missed the 5 best percentage gain days last year, the +13.7% gain falls to a +3.2% gain (source: BTN Research).
  8. AVOID THE WORST – The total return for the S&P 500 was a gain of +13.7% (total return) in 2014.  If you avoided the 5 worst percentage days last year, the +13.7% gain rises to +26.4% gain (source: BTN Research).
  9. FROM THE MARCH 2009 LOW – Since dropping to a bear market low on 3/09/09 (i.e., approximately 70 months ago), the S&P 500 stock index gained +244.2% (total return) through the close of trading on 12/31/14 or an average gain of +1.8% per month (source: BTN Research).
  10. NO CORRECTION – As of today, the S&P 500 has gone 1,189 calendar days (i.e., from 10/03/11 through and including 1/04/15) without a 10% or greater drop in the index, the 4th longest stretch without a double-digit pullback in the last 50 years (source: BTN Research).
  11. SMALL-CAPS – The small-cap Russell 2000 stock index gained +4.9% (total return) in 2014.  The small cap index has gained +10.3% per year over the last 30 years (1985-2014).  The Russell 2000 closed at an all-time high on Monday 12/29/14 (1219).  The Russell 2000 index is an unmanaged index of small-cap securities which generally involve greater risks (source: Russell).
  12. FOREIGN STOCKS – The international stock index EAFE lost 4.9% (total return) in 2014.  The EAFE index is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of the international stock market.  These international securities involve additional risks including currency fluctuations, differing financial accounting standards and possible political and economic volatility (source: BTN Research).
  13. THE TEN-YEAR NOTE – The yield on the 10-year Treasury note ended 2013 at 3.03% but immediately began dropping.  The last day during 2014 that the yield was as high as 2.50% was 9/26/14.  Falling interest rates continued throughout the 4th quarter and the yield finished 2014 at 2.17% (source: Treasury Department).
  14. OIL PRICES – The price of oil ended 2013 at $98.42 a barrel, rose to a 2014 closing high of $107.26 a barrel on 6/20/14, then fell dramatically over the remaining 6 months of the year to finish 2014 at $53.27 a barrel.  That’s a 50% decrease from its 6/20/14 peak price and a 46% decrease from year-end 2013 (source: CME Group).
  15. EUROPE – Lithuania became the 19th country to join the Eurozone on 1/01/15.  When the Euro was launched on 1/01/99, there were 11 countries that used the Euro as their common currency (source: BTN Research).


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