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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Lisa Navarro | Posted on: August 9th, 2021 | 0 Comments

  1. COUNTING ALL OF THEM – After peaking at $36.1 trillion on 2/19/20, the total market capitalization of all US equities fell $12.7 trillion to $23.4 trillion as of 3/23/20 but has since added back $24.3 trillion to close last Friday 8/06/21 at $47.7 trillion (source: Wilshire).
  1. MAJORITY OF DOMESTIC STOCKS – As of 7/31/21, the market capitalization of the S&P 500 was $39.2 trillion, 83% of the value of the entire US stock market ($47.2 trillion). That means $5 out of every $6 of value in the US stock market as of 7/31/21 was invested in a company that is part of the S&P 500 index.  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: S&P).
  1. THEY MAY NEVER STOP – The Federal Reserve has been buying $120 billion of federal debt per month since mid-March 2020, resulting in our nation’s central bank buying 76% of all the federal debt that has been issued during the pandemic (source: Federal Reserve).
  1. BEING CAUTIOUS – The personal savings rate in the US was a record 33.8% in April 2020 as Americans reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The personal savings rate in the US was 9.4% in June 2021.  Before the pandemic, the personal savings rate was above 10% during just 1 month since 1993.  The personal savings rate is defined as “savings” (i.e., after-tax income less consumption spending) divided by after-tax income (source: Department of Commerce).
  1. HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS – The number of American workers in “leisure and hospitality” was 16.3 million as of 2/29/20, dropped to 8.6 million as of 4/30/20, and now has rebounded to 15.8 million as of 7/31/21 (source: Department of Labor).
  1. LOSING GROUNDWages and salaries of all “civilian workers,” defined as workers in the private sector along with workers for state and local governments (but not federal government workers), increased by +3.2% on a year-over-year basis as of 6/30/21. Inflation, as measured by the “Consumer Price Index” (CPI), was up +5.4% over the same 12-month period (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  1. BETTER THIS YEAR – Approximately 1 out of every 7 “recent graduates” from college (13.6%) was unemployed in June 2020. Just 1 out of every 16 “recent graduates” from college (6.2%) was unemployed in June 2021 (source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York).
  1. NEED HELP – 43% of Americans under age 35 receive financial help from their parents or other family members when they purchase a home, e.g., money used for a down payment (source: Legal & General).
  1. HOME BUILDING563,400 single family homes began construction during the first half of 2021, the largest “January-to-June” total in the US since the first half of 2007 or 14 years earlier (source: Census Bureau).
  1. BIGGEST PIECE – 70% of total household debt nationwide is mortgage debt as of 6/30/21, i.e., $10.44 trillion of mortgage debt out of $14.96 trillion of total household debt (source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York).
  1. PARTLY EXTENDED – The first eviction moratorium due to the pandemic was issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development on 3/18/20 for 60 days, i.e., to 5/17/20. Believing that renters needed additional financial help, the original moratorium was extended 7 times, ultimately pushing the deadline to 7/31/21.  An 11th hour effort by the White House on Tuesday 8/03/21 extended the deadline an 8th time (to 10/03/21), however the extension is limited to just those areas in the US where COVID infections have continued to rise (source: HUD).
  1. MEDICAIDExpanding Medicaid at the state level has been an option available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) since 2014. Only 12 states have not accepted the offer, believing that expanding Medicaid will cause a state to eventually take on additional cost burdens (source: The Commonwealth Fund).
  1. STATE POLITICS – There is a State Senate and a State House in 49 of the 50 states (Nebraska has a single house). Out of the 99 state legislative chambers, Republicans control 61 of the 99 (source: Ballotpedia.org).
  1. DEATHS – The first American death from the COVID-19 pandemic occurred on 2/06/20. As of 9am ET on 8/06/21, i.e., 18 months later, 619,158 Americans had died from the pandemic, an average of 7,938 deaths per week3,273 Americans died of COVID-19 in the last week (source: NBC News, Meet the Press: First Read).
  1. WOW – When Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs and Tomas Walsh finished 1-2-3 in shot put, it was the 1st time in history in any individual event that the same athletes won the same medals in consecutive Olympics (source: Olympics).

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