Weekly Market Review: August 17, 2020

first_imgOnce an out-of-work individual has filed an initial claim for state unemployment benefits, he/she must file a “continued claim” in order to receive ongoing weekly jobless benefits. For the week ending 8/01/20, 15.5 million Americans (10% of the country’s civilian labor force) were receiving weekly payments for “continuing claims.” That nationwide total was as high as 24.9 million as of 5/09/20 but was as low as 1.7 million just 6 months ago in mid-February 2020. Although the measurement is not a leading indicator for the US economy, it does provide supporting evidence of the direction the economy is moving (source: Department of Labor).When the US stock market bottomed on 3/23/20, 51% of investors were “bearish” on the prospects for domestic stocks over the upcoming 6 months while 34% were “bullish” (the remaining 15% were“neutral”). Now 5 months removed from that low point, the “bulls” are winning -the S&P 500 is up+52% (total return) since 3/23/20 and the NASDAQ Composite has gained +61 % (total return). Both indices are “market-weighted,” i.e., the larger the individual stock’s market capitalization, the greater is its impact on the index’s performance (source: American Association of Individual Investors).Banks repossessed 11,996 homes each month during calendar year 2019. Through the end of July 2020, banks had taken back just 5,726 homes per month, in part the result of the foreclosure moratorium on properties purchased with federally back mortgages (source: Attom Data Solutions).Notable Numbers for the Week:UNDER THE PILLOW – Since the beginning of 2020, the size of the money market fund industry in the USA (both taxable and tax-free) has grown from $3.6 trillion to $4.6 trillion as of Wednesday 8/12/20 (source: Investment Company Institute).WILL THIS CHANGE? – The US fertility rate, i.e., the number of children that are projected to be born to a woman in her lifetime, has declined in 10 of the last 11 years since 2007. The rate was 2.12 children in 2007, falling to 1.73 children in 2018, the latest year that the data has been calculated (source: World Bank).MOST SUSCEPTIBLE – As of 8/08/20, 58% of American COVID-19 deaths occurred to individuals at least age 75, while just 1% of the victims were under the age of 35 (source: HealthData.gov).NOWHERE TO GO – There are 57 cruise ships either sitting at or anchored near US coastal cities waiting for the Center for Disease Control to lift the suspension of their industry. Many of the ships remain anchored at sea in order to avoid “port fees” that can exceed $10,000 a day (source: US Coast Guard).Mark R. Reimet, CFP®CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™Jodie BoothFinancial Advisorlast_img

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