February "By the Numbers"
1. ONE MONTH -
The S&P 500 lost 1.01% (total return) in January 2021. Exactly one-third (33%) of the months over the last 30 years (the 360 months from 2/1991 through 1/2021) have produced a negative return. 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. INDEX MATH -
The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high on Monday 1/25/21, finishing the day at 3855. Just 13 individual stocks in the index also closed at an all-time high on Monday 1/25/21 (source: BTN Research).
3. END OF LIFE -
2,839,000 Americans died in 2018. 2,855,000 Americans died in 2019. An estimated 3,271,000 Americans died in 2020 (source: Center for Disease Control).
4. IN A UNION -
35% of workers in the public sector (i.e., local, state or federal government) were union members in 2020. 6% of workers in the private sector were union workers in 2020 (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).
5. PLANNING AHEAD -
6 out of every 7 full-time workers surveyed (86%) in October 2020 are investing money for their retirement, mostly through an employer-sponsored pre-tax plan. 2,069 workers participated in the survey (source: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies).
6. RELIEF DOLLARS -
36% of stimulus payment money received by Americans from the March 2020 CARES Act was put into savings, while 35% was used to pay down debt (source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York).
7. THEY VOTE THIS YEAR -
Presidents of 4 of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks began their 1-year rotation as voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) last Tuesday 1/26/21. The 4 new voting members in 2021 are Charles Evans (Chicago), Mary Daly (San Francisco), Raphael Bostic (Atlanta) and Thomas Barkin (Richmond). The New York Fed President (currently John Williams) is a permanent member of the FOMC (source: Federal Reserve).
8. SELLERS’ MARKET -
There were 1.07 million existing homes for sale nationwide as of 12/31/20. Two years ago (12/31/18), there were 1.53 million existing homes for sale nationwide. Ten years ago (12/31/10), there were 3.02 million existing homes for sale nationwide (source: National Association of Realtors).