Stockholdings by U.S. individual investors increased to 41% of their total financial assets in April — the highest level on record, The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription) from JPMorgan Chase and Fed data going back to 1952, including 401(k) retirement accounts:
“Financial advisers and money managers said their clients have grown more comfortable holding stocks as they witnessed the powerful rally over the past year, with some even questioning why they need bonds in their portfolios with yields still so low.”
You’ll recall Donald Trump often (and I mean OFTEN) pointed to the performance of the stock market as a measure of his ‘success’ as a president.
Trump also claimed over and over again the market would tank if he lost the 2020 election. Well,…
The economy picked up speed last quarter, shaking off some of the lingering effects of the pandemic as consumer spending grew, bolstered by government stimulus checks and an easing of restrictions in many parts of the country.
The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the economy expanded 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021, compared with 1.1 percent in the final quarter last year.
On an annualized basis, the first-quarter growth rate was 6.4 percent.
Over at Axios, Nicholas Johnston reports on a research note from Goldman Sachs (titled ‘Anatomy of a Boom’) that forecasts “more than 7% growth in 2021, a sustained pace not seen in more than 30 years.”
According to the research note, economists post-vaccine hopes for an economic rebound are “changing from ‘from forecast to fact.'”
You’ll recall during the presidential campaign last year, “the former guy” constantly told his followers the economy would tank if he wasn’t reelected.
While the stock market isn’t “the economy,” check out these charts tracking the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 for the past four months.
• Out: Model, actor, and activist Nyle DiMarco (above) has something in common with President-elect Joe Biden – they both have new gigs. The America’s Next Top Model champ is one of a group of stars to appear in V Magazine’s 2021 calendar.
• Mediaite: Turner Classic Movies has scheduled an “All Joe” Inauguration Day lineup of films to celebrate incoming President Joe Biden, while not-so-subtly trolling Trump. The lineup includes: Ode to Billy Joe (1976), Polo Joe (1936), The Fabulous Joe (1947), The Story of G.I. Joe (1945), Joe Smith, American (1942), A Guy Named Joe (1943), Pal Joey (1957) and Mighty Joe Young (1949).
• CBS News: Signaling a continued break with President Trump the day before he leaves office, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed Mr. Trump in part for the assault on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, saying the pro-Trump mob that overran the building was “provoked by the president and other powerful people.”
• CNN: Donald Trump has reportedly been talked out of issuing presidential pardons for himself and his family as well as certain Republican lawmakers said to be nervous about their legal vulnerability for their part in the U.S. Capitol insurrection.
• The Hill: From Trump’s inauguration day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose from 19,827 to 30,930 on Tuesday, a 56 percent increase. That increase is below the 73.2 percent rise the Dow saw in Obama’s first term, or the 105.8 percent increase under Clinton’s first term. A similar trend was true for the S&P 500, which gained 67.8 percent under Trump. It gained 84.5 percent in Obama’s first term, and 79.2 percent in Clinton’s first term.
• LA Times: The 232-bed Vignes Street development has shattered the axiom that homeless housing takes years to build and is exorbitantly expensive. From start to finish in under five months and at a cost of about $200,000 per bed, it has shaved years and hundreds of thousands of dollars off a traditional homeless housing project.
• White House: Donald Trump issued a pre-recorded farewell address today. #ByeGurl
• The Advocate: Underwear company Andrew Christian recently has apologized for marketing a harness (above) emblazoned with the word “slave” using a POC to model them. “As you accurately noted in your article our ‘Master’ and ‘Slave’ harnesses and underwear only reference the ‘Master’ and ‘Slave’ terminology of the BDSM culture and has nothing to do with anything else. We sincerely apologize if anyone finds the image of the model offensive and we will replace it immediately.”
• Out Music: Colton Ford releases his first new music in years with the single, “Stronger.” The inspirational ballad begins with a simple guitar and vocal before swinging wide on a soulful and layered pop music journey. The upbeat lyrics share Ford’s own positive self speak: “We have to stay conscious of what we are telling ourselves, as that impacts and influences everything we experience in this life.” You can stream the full track here.
• NBC News: Georgia plans a recount of votes in its presidential race, but in the past 50 years, few recounts have led to changes in the winners. And in the handful of still-uncalled battleground states, there hasn’t been a flip following a recount in at least the last two decades.
• Statista: As the presidential election results unfolded before the American people last week, the stock market saw the writing on the wall. The S&P 500 closed the week up 7.3 percent on Friday marking the best election week rally since 1928. The Nasdaq and Dow Jones saw similar gains.
• The Independent: Donald Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, has become the latest Trump administration official to test positive for Covid-19. Carson attended the election night party at the White House on Tuesday where few in attendance wore masks to prevent the spread of the virus.
• Mediaite: The conservative news network cut away from the White House press secretary this afternoon after she alleged that the Democratic party was “welcoming fraud and you are welcoming illegal voting.” Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto cut in saying, “Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue showing this.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 900 points lower, or 3.2%, and was headed for its biggest one-day loss since June 11. The S&P 500 slid 2.7% and the Nasdaq Composite dipped 2.5%.
Monday’s decline erased the monthly gains for the Dow industrials.
The decline came amid a record surge in new coronavirus cases in the U.S. The country saw more than 83,000 new infections on both Friday and Saturday after outbreaks in Sun Belt states, surpassing a previous record of roughly 77,300 cases set in July, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The data also showed the country has reported an average of 68,767 cases per day over the past seven days, a record.
Trump and his followers often tout the stock market and unemployment under Trump as “the best economy in the history of the world.”
But crunching the numbers from the final three years of the Obama administration and the first three years of Trump’s time in office – which leaves out the devastation of the current pandemic on the US economy – the data shows Trump is not better on economic issues than his predecessor.
I recently came across a report from USA Today comparing the economic records of Donald Trump and Barack Obama.
• Employment: According to the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the economy created 6,979,000 jobs during Obama’s final three years in office. In Trump’s first three years through this past January, the economy added 6,585,000 jobs to a total of 158,714,000. That’s 394,000 fewer under Trump than under Obama during a similar time span.
• Economic growth: During Obama’s final three years, the economy (inflation-adjusted gross domestic product) grew 2.5% in 2014, 3.1% in 2015 and 1.7% in 2016, or an average of 2.43%, according to figures from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. Under Trump, the economy grew 2.3% in 2017, 3.0% in 2018 and 2.2% in 2019, for an average of 2.5% a year – just below one-tenth of a percent per year under Trump, who came into office promising to produce an economy that would sprint ahead at a 4% annual pace or even higher.
• Wage growth: During Obama’s final three years in office through January 2017, hourly earnings adjusted for inflation grew 3.3%, according to BLS figures. During Trump’s first three years, inflation-adjusted hourly earnings grew an identical 3.2%.
• Stock market: During Trump’s presidency, the S&P 500 climbed 50.4%, from a close of 2,271.31 on Jan. 20, 2017, when he was inaugurated, to 3,4433.12 today. Under Obama, the S&P 500, which was 805.22 on Jan. 20, 2009, grew 182% during his presidency. During his second term, it grew 52% (from 1,492.56 on Jan. 22, 2013).
• InstaHunks: Woofy Steve_in_LA (above) looks handsome as ever self-isolating in style as he works from home.
• LGBTQ Nation: At least four LGBTQ people who were at the Winter Party – a huge circuit party held in Miami earlier this month – have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Other partiers have also developed symptoms.
• CNBC: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 913 points lower, or more than 4%, after rallying more than 400 points earlier in the day. The S&P 500 slid 4.4%. The Nasdaq Composite closed 3.8% lower after jumping more than 2%.
• KIT212: Kenneth’s weekly round-up of the what’s what in local gay rags like Scissor Sister’s lead singer Jake Shears in the latest issue of GRAB.
• Washington Post: U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while President Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen, according to U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting.
• CNN: Economists at Goldman Sachs predict next week’s unemployment report will show 2.25 million Americans filing for their first week of unemployment benefits this week — eight times the number of people who filed last week and the highest level on record.
• New Music: Scottish singer/writer ONR (pronounced “honor”) shares new track and video “Human Enough,” the latest from his forthcoming Must Stop EP.
ONR says of the new track: “I liked the idea that ‘being human’ wasn’t a defining quality, but rather a sliding-scale… that you could consider yourself ’not human enough’ to be someone else’s equal. The video is dark, confused, frustrated; it exists within this fantastical alternative reality where the concept of being human is (literally) different from our own.”
Stocks surged Tuesday — rebounding from their worst day in more than three decades — as Wall Street cheered White House plans that could inject $1 trillion into the U.S. economy to cushion the blow of the coronavirus.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1,048.79 points higher, or 5.2%, at 21,237.31. It briefly dipped below 20,000 for the first time since February 2017 before rebounding. The S&P 500 was up 6% at 2,529.19 while the Nasdaq Composite gained 6.2% to end the day at 7,334.78.
The Trump administration is weighing a fiscal stimulus package of more than $1 trillion that includes direct payments to Americans, according to a source familiar with the matter. Earlier, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters the government is considering directly sending checks to Americans in the next two weeks. “Americans need cash now,” he said.
The stock market took yet another nosedive on Monday triggering the New York Stock Exchange’s ‘circuit breaker’ stopping stock from plummeting even further. It was the 3rd time in two weeks the automated system kicked in to give stock traders a chance to catch their breath.
The dramatic drop came after the Federal Reserve announced on Sunday it would slash interest rates to nearly zero, a move not taken since the crash of 2008.
It was the third time in two weeks the New York Stock Exchange triggered the so-called circuit breaker, a rarely used lever, to stop stocks from free-fall and give traders time to get their bearings. It’s activated when the S&P 500 falls 7 percent; on Monday the index skidded more than 8.1 percent before trading stopped for 15 minutes.
There was some recovery in the Dow by early afternoon, with the blue-chip index paring its losses to 1,935 points, or 8.4 percent. But by mid-afternoon all gains were gone. Shortly before 2:30, the Dow was down more than 2,350 points, or 10.1 percent. The S&P 500 and tech-heavy sank 9.6 percent and the Nasdaq declined 9.8 percent.
The Dow erased most of the nearly 2,000-point jolt it got Friday after President Trump issued an emergency declaration over the coronavirus pandemic, which has disrupted nearly every aspect of American life and threatens to catapult the United States into recession.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down more than 1,400 points on Wednesday, crossing firmly into bear market territory, or a 20 percent decline from a 52-week high. The losses came as the World Health Organization labeled the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.
The S&P 500 and the Dow are currently down more than 14 percent from the record highs they hit just last month, making this the fastest drawdown from peak to decline.
Wednesday’s massive sell-off is a response to the lack of concerted policy action from President Donald Trump’s administration, which has been criticized for its mixed messaging about the best ways to address and contain the virus.