America By The Number$ - 7/18/2021

America By The Number$ - 7/18/2021

1.      BULL RALLY - The current bull market for the S&P 500 is the index’s 8th bull run in the last 50 years.  This bull has gained +97.6% (total return) from 3/23/20 through last Friday 7/16/21.  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.      ARE YOU WEALTHY? - The average response from 1,000 Americans surveyed in the first half of 2021 is that it takes a net worth of $1.9 million in order to be considered “wealthy” in the United States today (source: Schwab 2021 Modern Wealth Survey). 


3.      HAVE A BETTER IDEA? - 54% of young adults ages 18-24 surveyed in June 2021 have a negative view of capitalism (source: SurveyMonkey). 


4.      WONDER WHY? - Despite an increase in the price of oil in 2021, the production of crude oil is relatively flat this year.  Crude oil was $48.52 a barrel as of 12/31/20, increasing to $71.81 a barrel as of Friday 7/16/21.  The US field production of crude oil was 11.0 million barrels a day as of 1/01/21, up to 11.4 million barrels a day as of Friday 7/09/21 (source: Department of Energy).


5.      WHAT’S YOUR HOME DONE? - The average single-family home in the USA has appreciated +15.7% over the 1-year ending 4/30/21, up +7.9% per year over the last 5-years, up +6.4% per year over the last 10-years, and up +4.1% per year over the last 20-years (source: Federal Housing Finance Agency). 


6.      MORATORIUM IS ENDING - Banks repossessed just 9,730 homes during the first 6 months of 2021, down from 37,917 bank repossessions completed in the first half of 2020.  Homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages have benefited from the foreclosure moratorium on federally backed homes loans that is in effect until 7/31/21.  No moratorium was in place during the first half of 2010 when banks repossessed 527,906 homes during the global mortgage crisis (source: ATTOM Data Solutions).       


7.      ONLY ONCE - Inflation, using the “Consumer Price Index” (CPI) as the measurement, was up +5.4% on a trailing 1-year basis as of 6/30/21.  In the last 30 years, there was only 1 month when trailing 1-year inflation was greater than +5.4%.  Inflation was up +5.6% for the 1-year ending 7/31/08 (source: Department of Labor).     


8.      AGAIN? - Legislation signed by President Trump in July 2019 suspended our country’s debt ceiling limit until 8/01/21, i.e., there is no statutory limit on our nation’s borrowing for 2 more weeks.  Lacking action by Congress before 8/01/21, the federal government technically would be prevented from borrowing any more money.  The debt ceiling has been raised, extended or suspended 87 times since 1960 (source: Treasury Department).


9.      OFFICE SPACE - 73% of Fortune 500 CEOs surveyed in May 2021 say their firms will need less office space in the future than they required in 2019 before the pandemic occurred (source: Fortune). 


10.   BIG SKY BENEFIT - The state of Montana has been paying a $1,200 “Return-to-Work Bonus” since 5/04/21 to jobless individuals who were receiving unemployment benefits, and then went back to work for at least 4 weeks (source: 


11.   CHANGED MY MIND - 25% of 1,006 “soon-to-graduate” college students who were surveyed in the 1st quarter of 2021 said the 2020 pandemic caused them to change the industry they intend to work in following their college years (source: Joblist). 


12.   LOTS OF PEOPLE NEED HELP - Medicare covers 61.2 million Americans, while Medicaid covers 73.8 million low-income Americans (source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services).


13.   END OF LIFE - More Americans died in 2020 (3.381 million) than in any year in US history (source: National Center for Health Statistics).      


14.   HOSPITAL PRICE TRANSPARENCY RULE - Since 1/01/21, US hospitals are required by law to post on their websites the prices of approximately 300 common services they provide, i.e., the cost actually paid by patients or by the insurance companies that provide coverage for patients (source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid). 


15.   SOCIAL MEDIA STAR - 18-year old Olivia Dunne, a gymnast at LSU, is expected to sign a lucrative financial deal following the implementation of the NCAA’s “Name Image and Likeness” rule that went into effect as of 7/01/21.  Dunne will be able to profit as a result of her 4 million TikTok followers and her 1.1 million Instagram followers (source: USA Today).   

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