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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Lisa Navarro | Posted on: June 28th, 2021 | 0 Comments

  1. STOCKS – In the last 30 years, the best 12-month performance for the S&P 500 occurred over the 1-year period that ended 3/31/21. The S&P 500 gained +56.4% (total return) from 3/31/20 to 3/31/21.  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).
  1. CANCER – The diagnoses of some forms of cancer fell by more than 50% in 2020 when compared to 2019, not because cancer is on the decline but because 94% of Americans postponed their annual screenings and many cancer clinics suspended the collection of biopsies (source: Propublica).
  1. HOSPITALS – Between 3/01/20 and 6/30/20, American hospitals lost $51 billion per month of revenue due to cancelled and foregone medical services. The Mayo Clinic furloughed or cut the hours of 29,500 of its 70,000 employees in 2020 or 42% of their workforce (source: American Hospital Association, Mayo Clinic).
  1. WEAR A MASK – Flu cases have dropped dramatically during the pandemic. The number of Americans testing positive for the flu during the 2020-2021 flu season was the lowest number recorded in 25 years (source: CDC).
  1. NOT IN THE OFFICE – Although only 20% of American employees were “working from home” (WFH) before the pandemic, 71% were WFH by December 2020 and 54% want to continue to WFH after the pandemic is contained. As a result of the change to WFH, the demand for office space is falling, e.g., vacant office space in Manhattan (New York City) is at its highest level in 30 years (source: Pew Research Center).
  1. REAL ESTATE – The 2020 pandemic caused thousands of home sellers to pull their homes off the market, fearful of strangers entering their homes during the crisis. In March 2020 at the start of the pandemic, 1.49 million existing homes were on the market for sale.  By March 2021, just 1.05 million homes were on the market.  With a smaller supply, home prices soared.  The median sales price of existing homes sold rose from $280,700 in March 2020 to $350,300 in May 2021, an increase of +25% in 14 months (source: Nat’l Association of Realtors).
  1. AIR QUALITY – The lockdown of economies around the world beginning in March 2020 reduced auto, truck and airplane emissions. 84% of nations surveyed reported improvement in their overall air quality in 2020 when compared to 2019.  Nitrogen dioxide, the gas released in the air from the burning of fuel, declined 26% in the USA during 2020 when compared 2019’s level (source: IQAir’s 2020 World Air Quality Report, ScienceDirect).
  1. LADIES – Women have been impacted by the pandemic more than men. 80% of the Americans that have stepped away from the workforce to take on the duties of childcare, education, shopping, cooking and cleaning during the nationwide shutdown were women (source: McKinsey).
  1. MENTAL HEALTH – Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, 52% of American employees report having trouble sleeping at night and 42% have suffered anxiety or depression. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules in July 2020 to establish a nationwide “988” hotline for suicide prevention and for individuals experiencing mental health crises by July 2022 (source: FCC).
  1. TRAVEL – When travel for vacations slowed in the summer of 2020, rental car companies sold off more than 500,000 rental cars just to survive, leading to a shortage of rental cars and higher prices in 2021 (source: CNN).
  1. FEWER BABIES – In spite of being on lockdown with our spouses/partners, the number of US births fell in 2020 to 3.60 million births, the 12th declining year of births in the last 13 years (source: CDC).
  1. STRESSED OUT AND LONELYAlcohol sales nationwide increased by +34% during the 2nd quarter 2020 (i.e., April-May-June) compared to sales from the 2nd quarter 2019. Hospital admissions for cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatitis were up +30% in 2020 compared to 2019 (source: Annals of Internal Medicine).
  1. AT THE POOL – American cities do not have enough lifeguards to service pools nationwide, e.g., Austin, TX is short 80% of its 750-lifeguard goal for the summer of 2021. The pandemic shutdown put a freeze on training and certification programs required for lifeguards (source: American Lifeguard Association).
  1. NO ZOOM FOR ME – 40% of teachers with 21-30 years of experience said they were considering early retirement or quitting the profession completely (source: National Education Association, August 2020).
  1. OUT IN THE OPEN – American golfers played 500 million rounds of golf in calendar year 2020, an increase of +13.9% over total rounds played in calendar year 2019. The increase is remarkable given that most golf courses were closed for at least a month in the spring of 2020 (source: National Golf Foundation).

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