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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Lisa Navarro | Posted on: August 30th, 2021 | 0 Comments

  1. BULL RACES ON – From its 3/23/20 closing price through the end of trading last Friday 8/27/21, the S&P 500 has gained +106.3% (total return) and set 72 all-time closing highs. 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. CONSECUTIVE BEARS – Over the last 75 years, the shortest time period between the end of one bear market for stocks and the beginning of another bear market for stocks is 26 months. The S&P 500 fell 22% during a bear market that ended on 10/07/66.  The next bear market for the stock market, an 18-month long tumble of 36% began its downward slide on 11/29/68.  The latest bear market for stocks, a decline of 34% over just 33 days, ended on 3/23/20 or 17 months ago (source: BTN Research).
  1. BRAND NEW HOMES – The median sales price of a new home sold in the USA in June 2021 was $390,500, an all-time record high both on a nominal basis and on an inflation-adjusted basis. The old nominal record was $374,400 in April 2021.  The old inflation-adjusted record was $345,800 in May 2017, equal to $383,898 in today’s dollars (source: Census Bureau).
  1. RED TAPE – Congress approved $46.55 billion in rental aid via 2 bills in 12/2020 and 3/2021. As of 8/25/21, just $5.1 billion has been disbursed to renters or 11% of the total (source: Emergency Rental Assistance Program).
  1. GOOD LUCK – A renter household that qualifies for rental aid assistance (see prior bullet) receives 12 months of rent and utility assistance, extended to 18 months for the most vulnerable households (source: ERAP).
  1. DON’T EXPECT ME TO PAY – Just 3% of all hospital costs in America in 2019 were paid “out-of-pocketby consumers. Various government programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, paid 50% of all hospital costs, another 37% was paid by insurance companies, and the remaining 10% was paid by other third parties including employers that maintain self-insured plans (source: American Enterprise Institute).
  1. MORE PEOPLE ARE ELIGIBLE – The American Rescue Plan Act (HR # 1319), signed into law on 3/11/21, expanded the number of Americans eligible for federal subsidies for health insurance obtained through the Affordable Care Act to anyone who would otherwise be forced to pay more than 8.5% of their income for “benchmark” coverage. Previously, anyone with income above 400% of the “federal poverty level” would be ineligible for subsidies.  400% of the “federal poverty level” is equal to $106,000 of income for a family of 4 in 2021 (source: American Rescue Plan Act).
  1. IN A WEEK – An estimated 7.5 million out-of-work Americans will stop receiving federal unemployment insurance benefits a week from today (Monday 9/06/21). The group will lose the $300 of weekly benefits that they have been receiving since late December 2020 (source: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance).
  1. BIG VOLUME, LOW COST – Unbranded generic drugs represent 84% of the drugs sold in the United States (by volume) but represent only 12% of US spending on drugs (source: RAND Corporation).
  1. COVID NUMBERS – On 8/24/21, the United States reached 38 million in confirmed cases (38,057,336) of the coronavirus (11.44% of the US population) and 633,455 deaths, a mortality rate of 1.67% if you contract the virus, i.e., 1 out of every 9 Americans has contracted the virus and 1 out of every 60 Americans who has contracted COVID-19 has died from it since the inception of the virus in January 2020 (source: NBC News).
  1. THE FIRST ONE – The CDC has changed the date of the first US death from COVID-19 from 2/06/20 to as early as 1/11/20. The CDC now believes 6 COVID-related deaths occurred before 2/06/20 (source: CDC).
  1. ONE MONTH – Before the pandemic, the largest monthly deficit in US history, i.e., “spending” in excess of “receipts,” was $234 billion in February 2019. Since the pandemic began in January 2020, the largest monthly deficit in US history has now increased to $864 billion in June 2020 (source: Treasury Department).
  1. MINERALS – A team of American geologists discovered in 2010 what was described as “nearly $1 trillion” of untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, including copper, gold, cobalt and lithium (source: New York Times).
  1. WILL WE HAVE A THIRD? – Only 2 governors in US history have been successfully recalled – Lynn Frazier (North Dakota) in 1921 (100 years ago) and Gray Davis (California) in 2003 (source: BTN Research).
  1. GO CYCLONES! – The highest ranked college football team in the AP (writers) 2021 preseason poll that has never won the national championship is Iowa State, ranked 7th in the initial 2021 poll (source: AP).

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