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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Kim Vo | Posted on: January 3rd, 2017 | 0 Comments

1. FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR – The S&P 500 was positive on a total return basis during 9 of 12 months in calendar year 2016, gaining +12.0% for the year (including a +5.0% gain following the 11/08/16 presidential election). The raw index rose +9.5% and the impact of reinvested dividends made up the difference. 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. THE LONG-TERM AVERAGE – The S&P 500 stock index has gained an average of +10.2% per year (total return) over the last 50 years (i.e., the years 1967-2016). The index has been positive for the last 8 years (9 consecutive “up” years is the all-time record for the S&P 500) and 13 of the last 14 calendar years. The S&P 500 has been up during 40 of the last 50 years, i.e., 80% of the time (source: BTN Research).

3. UP vs. DOWN – The split between “up” and “down” trading days for the S&P 500 over the last 50 years (i.e., 1967-2016, a total of 12,586 trading days) is 53% “up” and 47% “down.” The split during calendar year 2016 (over a total of 252 trading days) was 52/48 (source: BTN Research).

4. INSIDE THE INDEX – 160 of the 500 individual stocks (i.e., 32% of the stocks) in the S&P 500 gained at least +20% in 2016. 39 stocks (i.e., 8% of the stocks) gained at least +40%. 140 stocks (i.e., 28% of the stocks) finished the year with a stock price lower than where it started the year (source: BTN Research).

5. BACK-TO-BACK – The top-performing individual stock in the S&P 500 in 2016 (based upon a +224% gain for the year) was ranked # 4 (out of 500 stocks) in 2015 while gaining +64%. The 2nd-best performing individual stock in the S&P 500 in 2016 (based upon a +133% gain for the year) was ranked # 485 (out of 500 stocks) in 2015 while losing 50%. The 3rd-best performing individual stock in the S&P 500 in 2016 (based upon a +95% gain for the year) was ranked # 494 (out of 500 stocks) in 2015 while losing 71% (source: BTN Research).

6. ONLY ONE DIRECTION TO GO – The top-performing stock in the S&P 500 in 2015 (based upon a +134% gain last year) was ranked # 278 (out of 500 stocks) in 2016 while gaining +8% (source: BTN Research).

7. MISSING THE BEST – The total return for the S&P 500 was a gain of +12.0% (total return) in 2016. If you missed the 3 best percentage gain days last year, the +12.0% gain falls to a +4.4% gain (source: BTN Research).

8. AVOID THE WORST – The total return for the S&P 500 was a gain of +12.0% (total return) in 2016. If you avoided the 3 worst percentage days last year, the +12.0% gain rises to +22.1% gain (source: BTN Research).

9. FROM THE MARCH 2009 LOW – Since dropping to a bear market low on 3/09/09 (i.e., approximately 94 months ago), the S&P 500 stock index has gained +291% (total return) through the close of trading on Friday 12/30/16 or an average gain of +1.5% per month (source: BTN Research).

10. SMALL-CAPS – The small-cap Russell 2000 stock index gained +21.3% (total return) in 2016 (including a +14.3% gain since 10/31/16). The small cap index has gained +10.5% per year over the last 35 years (1982-2016). The Russell 2000 closed at an all-time high on Friday 12/09/16 (1388). The Russell 2000 index is an unmanaged index of small-cap securities which generally involve greater risks (source: Russell).

11. FOREIGN STOCKS – The international stock index EAFE gained +1.0% (total return) in 2016. The EAFE index is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of the international stock market. These international securities involve additional risks including currency fluctuations, differing financial accounting standards and possible political and economic volatility (source: BTN Research).

12. THE TEN-YEAR NOTE – The yield on the 10-year Treasury note ended 2016 at 2.44%, just 0.17 percentage points higher than the 2.27% it finished at as of 12/31/15. The yield on the 10-year note was 2.57% on 8/05/11, the day S&P downgraded the USA’s top-rating that it had held for 70 years (source: Treasury Department).

13. HOUSING – The average interest rate nationwide on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 4.32% at the end of 2016. The record low national average was 3.31% as of 11/22/12 or just over 4 years ago (source: Freddie Mac).

14. OIL PRICES – The price of oil ended 2016 at $53.72 a barrel, up +45% (and $16.68 a barrel) from its 2015 closing price of $37.04. From a 6/20/14 closing price (i.e., 2 ½ years ago) of $107.26 a barrel, the price of oil had fallen 76% as of 2/11/16 ($26.21) before doubling to $53.72 by the end of 2016 (source: CME Group).

15. OVERSPENDING – The national debt of the United States was $19.879 trillion as of Thursday 12/29/16, an increase of $11.2 trillion (from $8.680 trillion) since 12/29/06 or 10 years ago (source: Treasury Department).

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