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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Vanessa Guadiana | Posted on: April 7th, 2014 | 0 Comments

  1. MOSTLY IN ONE DAY – The S&P 500 produced a +1.8% return performance (total return) in the 1st quarter 2014, the lowest 1st quarter return for the stock index since 2009.  The best single trading day for the S&P 500 YTD was a +1.5% total return gain achieved on Tuesday 3/04/14.  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. SIX MONTH PERIODS – The 6-month period from November-April has gained +473.0% for the S&P 500 since 1990, 9 times the +52.6% return achieved during the 6 months from May-October.  Both numbers are aggregate total return performance results calculated for their respective 6-month periods beginning on 5/01/90 and continuing through 10/31/13 (source: BTN Research).
  3. HOT AND COLD – The best performing individual stock in the S&P 500 index during the first quarter 2014 gained +54%.  The worst performing individual stock in the S&P 500 index during the first quarter 2014 lost 34% (source: BTN Research).
  4. WHOOPS! – The individual stock that was ranked # 3 (out of the 500 stocks in the S&P 500) in performance for calendar year 2013 was up +237% last year.  That same stock however was ranked # 500 (out of the 500 stocks) in YTD performance through 3/31/14 while losing 34% in just 3 months so far this year (source: BTN Research).
  5. TRIPLE – The total market capitalization of the US stock market was $22.9 trillion as of 3/31/14.  At its bear market low on 3/09/09, the total market capitalization was $8 trillion (source: BTN Research).
  6.  WHEN INTEREST RATES GO UP – The last time the Federal Reserve began a series of interest rate hikes was almost 10 years ago.  Over the 2-year period from 6/30/04 to 6/29/06, the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates 17 times.  The S&P 500 gained +15.5% (total return) over the 2-years beginning 6/30/04, i.e., aggregate total return for the 2-year period, not per year (source: BTN Research).
  7. WITH AND WITHOUT A DEGREE – The nation’s unemployment rate as of 3/31/14 for Americans lacking a high school diploma is 9.6%.  The nation’s unemployment rate as of 3/31/14 for Americans with at least a Bachelor’s degree is 3.4%.  The nation’s overall unemployment rate is 6.7% (source: Department of Labor).
  8. SERIOUSLY DELINQUENT – 14.7% of subprime mortgages were 60 days or more delinquent as of the end of 2013, compared to 8.4% of Alt-A loans and 1.6% of prime mortgages (source: Comptroller of the Currency).
  9. SOURCE OF MONEY – Eliminating the deduction for home mortgage interest expense would increase annual tax revenues to the US government by $175 billion, a boost of +6.3% (source: Internal Revenue Service).
  10. NOT A SECURED CREDITOR – On 2/21/14 the city of Detroit submitted a bankruptcy plan to a federal court that called for unsecured bondholders of general obligation bonds issued by Detroit to receive 20 cents on the dollar (of their original investment).  A revised version of the bankruptcy plan filed on 3/31/14 reduced the payout to as low as 15 cents on the dollar (source: City of Detroit).
  11. NEXT YEAR – The enrollment period for 2015 health insurance coverage obtained either through the federal exchange or through an individual state-run exchange will begin on 11/15/14.  Health insurance companies will submit proposed 2015 premiums to state regulators by early summer 2014 (source: Affordable Care Act).
  12. DOC-FIX REDUX – The Senate waited until 6:31 PM (Eastern Time) on Monday 3/31/14 to delay cuts in payments to doctors that treat Medicare patients that were to take effect at midnight.  The so-called “Doc-fix” was the 17th time since 1997 that Congress has enacted a 1-year extension on Medicare reimbursement cuts.  Without the 3/31/14 vote, doctors would have experienced a 24% reimbursement reduction as of 4/01/14 (source: Congress).
  13. SKILLED IMMIGRANTS – 25% of US high-tech companies started in the last 20 years (i.e., 1995-2014) have 1 or more foreign born founders (source: Dartmouth University).
  14. WHO’DA THUNK IT – 98% of the participants in Warren Buffett’s $1 billion NCAA basketball contest picked Duke to beat Mercer in the first round.  Mercer beat Duke 78-71 on Friday 3/21/14.  Buffett planned to cap his entries at 15 million (source: CNN).
  15. US vs. THEM – The 2014 payroll of the Miami Marlins is $41.8 million, the smallest opening day payroll among 30 major league baseball teams this year.  Cliff Lee and Ryan Howard, teammates for the Philadelphia Phillies, will each make $25.0 million this year (source: Major League Baseball).


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