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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Vanessa Guadiana | Posted on: June 29th, 2015 | 0 Comments

  1. HALFWAY – With just 2 trading days remaining in the 1st half of 2015, the S&P 500 is up +3.1% YTD (total return), has set 10 all-time closing highs and has a 47/53 split between “up” and “down” days YTD, i.e., more “down” days than “up” days.  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. AND THEN? – The S&P 500 has gained +3.1% YTD (total return) through 6/26/15, on track to be the 18th time since 1990 (i.e., 18 of 26 years) that the index has produced a positive total return during the January-June time frame.  In the previous 17 times that the S&P 500 was positive during the first half of the year, the index followed up with a positive total return in the second half of the year 14 times, i.e., 82% of the time (source: BTN Research). 
  3. THE HOME STRETCH – The S&P 500 has closed at its calendar year high in the second half of the year (i.e., during the 6 months of July-December) 74% of the time since 1950.  In 8 of the last 12 years, the index’s calendar year high has occurred during the month of December (source: BTN Research).    
  4. A THOUSAND DAYS OF HISTORY – In the last 1,000 trading days through last Friday (i.e., 7/07/11 to 6/26/15), the S&P 500 had daily gains of at least +1% (total return) on 123 days, gains of at least +2% on 21 days and gains of at least +3% on just 6 days (source: BTN Research).  
  5. TEN IN A ROW (ALMOST) – The S&P 500 has gained +2.1% (total return) in the 2Q 2015 (with just 2 trading days remaining in the quarter), on track to be the 10th consecutive quarter that the index has risen.  The 10 straight quarterly gains would be the S&P 500’s best streak since the index was up 14 consecutive quarters from the 1Q of 1995 through and including the 2Q of 1998 (source: BTN Research).   
  6. HERE’S THE MATH – The government reported last week that the US economy fell by 0.2% during the 1Q 2015, i.e., quarter-over-quarter change expressed as an annualized result.  The economy actually fell by just 0.043% during the quarter (i.e., from $16.2947 trillion on 12/31/14 to $16.2877 trillion on 3/31/15).  The reported 0.2% tumble assumes the 0.043% actual drop repeats itself over the next 3 quarters, i.e., 1.00-0.00043 = 0.99957 raised to the 4th power = 0.99828, equal to a drop of 0.172%, rounded to a fall of 0.2% (source: BTN Research).   
  7. CLIMBING HIGHER – The yield on the 10-year Treasury note closed last Friday 6/26/15 at 2.49%.  The last time the 10-year note yield closed at 2.50% or higher was 9/26/14 (source: BTN Research).  
  8. REVERSAL OF FORTUNES – The number of properties repossessed by lenders is reported on a monthly basis.  The 24,305 homes reclaimed by banks in February 2015 was the 27th consecutive month where foreclosures nationwide decreased on an annual basis, i.e., comparing a month’s total to the total from the same month a year earlier.  Since then an average of 42,070 monthly foreclosures has occurred, resulting in 3 consecutive months (March-April-May) of year-over-year increases (source: RealtyTrac).     
  9. NEAR RECORD – The average sales price of existing homes sold in the USA during May 2015 was $228,700, just 1% less than the all-time record high of $230,200 set in July 2006 (source: National Association of Realtors).  
  10. DRY – Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the USA in terms of maximum water capacity, stores water from the Colorado River for delivery to homes, businesses and farms in Arizona, Nevada, California and Mexico.  Last Thursday’s (6/25/15) water level in Lake Mead was its lowest since 1937 (source: Lake Mead Water Database).   
  11. THE FUNDING PROCESS – 6 of 12 appropriations bills used to set overall spending levels for fiscal year 2016 have passed the House.  6 spending bills are yet to be passed including Homeland Security (source: Congress).  
  12. MILITARY OR MEDICINE – For the first 8 months of fiscal year 2015 (i.e., the 8 months ending 5/31/15), the US government has spent $395 billion on defense and $359 billion on Medicare (source: Treasury Department).  
  13. JUST CAN’T WAIT – 73% of the retired workers who were receiving a monthly Social Security benefit payment in December 2013 began taking their retirement benefits early, i.e., before attaining their full retirement age (source: Social Security).  
  14. LOW EXPECTATIONS – 47% of nearly 3,300 workers surveyed in March 2015 expect Social Security to go bankrupt before they retire (source: T. Rowe Price Retirement Saving & Spending Survey).  
  15. ONLY ONE SHOT NEEDED – Art Wall has more hole-in-ones (45) than any golfer in PGA history.  Sam Snead is # 2 on the list with 32 aces (source: Golf World). 


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