Tag Archives: Stock Market

Stocks Respond Well to Passage of Second Stimulus Bill

Despite Trump’s declared dislike for the latest stimulus package passed by the US Congress, he signed anyway, to the rejoicing of legislators, citizens, and the stock market.

The newest bill authorizes $900 billion in aid to deal with the devastating effects to individuals, families, and the economy of the coronavirus pandemic. Included in the deal is a $600 check for every adult, expanded unemployment benefits, and more money for the Paycheck Protection Program which helps small businesses to retain their employees and stay afloat.

President Trump originally threatened to not sign the bill, saying that the payment should be $2,000 and not $600. He relented and the process of getting the desperately needed money out to the population hard hit by the pandemic is underway.

The stock market reacted positively: The S&P rose by 0.87%; the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.68% to 30,403.97; and the NASDAQ composite also increased 0.74% to 12,899.42.

In other, related news, the latest COVID-19 vaccine, from AstraZeneca, is about to get emergency use authorization in the UK, with the hope that the vaccine will begin deployment the first week in January 2021.

The company said that, like the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are already circulating in many countries, the AstraZeneca vaccine has an efficacy rate of 95%.

Surprise Uptick in Employment Boosts Stock Market

Image by FrankundFrei from Pixabay

Beginning in September 2010 until March 2020 the United States added more than 22 million jobs to the economy. Then came the historic COVID-19 pandemic that wiped almost that entire 10-year gain in a mere 6 weeks. In only a little more than one month the unemployment rate skyrocketed from about 3.5% in February to a high of 14.7% in April. The trend for May has reversed that free-fall, with unemployment dropping to 13.3%, less than many were expecting.
The re-opening of the economy, including a return to work of employees to the leisure and hospitality, construction, education, health services, and retail sectors, has lifted the total number of employed during the month of May.

The good news about employment caused a rise in the stock market, with the NASDAQ almost reaching a record high. The S&P went up more than 2% and is now only 1% shy of where it was at the beginning of 2020, and less than 6 percentage points short of where it was in February, before corona burst onto the planet, to devastating effect.

The NASDAQ, which weighs towards hi-tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft, is protected to a certain degree from economic downturns down-turns. The sheer size of these companies is protective, but in addition, lockdowns necessitated by the coronavirus did not affect tech companies as much since workers can more easily pivot to working from home than traditional companies that require a human workforce to interface with consumers. Even more, the dependence consumers had on e-commerce during the lockdown boosted the strength of these types of companies.

During May employers added 2.5 million jobs to the job market, despite the prediction by economists that the government was going to report the loss of 8 million jobs during the month.

High Stock Prices Fueled by “Easy” Money

Going up!

The general description of shares on the stock market at the moment can be described as “expensive” according to many observers.

A report in Yahoo Finance stated that “One reason that folks are paying up for richly priced stocks is that money – for many – is not much of an object right now.’’

The report added that American companies have added about $700 billion in debt so far in 2015, and repurchases of stock are on their way to going beyond a value of $600 billion.
Stocks for US companies are high-priced. The median stock carries a higher valuation than almost all of the time in the last 40 years, Yahoo stated. The largest 100 companies in the world today are worth an enormous $16.24 trillion. That amount is close to double what those companies were valued at immediately following the recent financial crisis.

According to PwC, Apple Inc. is the most valuable business in the world, with a market capitalization of $725 billion, which conducted a study in March. Since 2009 the maker of the iPhone and many other popular consumer electronic products has increased its market value by 671%. Only 6 years ago Apple was ranked the world’s 33rd largest company and worth about $94 billion.

The second largest company in the world is Google, with a valuation of $375 billion, more than double its worth in 2009 of $110 billion. Six years ago it ranked in 22nd place.

How Widespread Is This Economic Decline?

Recession HereThe Federal Reserve’s announcement that it would maintain interest rates very low for at least two years indicates that the Fed expects a real recession of at least a year.

Meanwhile concerns about the global economy cut off Europe’s stock market rally and has not stopped the Wall Street decline as of this morning. In Germany, the DAX fell 1 percent to 5854 while the English FTSE 100 index of top English shares fell by .7 percent to 5124. France’s CAC-40 dropped by 1.9 percent to 1153.

Another sign rocked the financial community when the U.S. Government released a report that the U.S. economy grew much less than expected during the first half of 2011. This indicates a significantly greater chance of recession.

Another major market worry is the European Debt Crisis. Italy and Spain may well need bailouts and investors have ceased to purchase their bonds. The ECB (European Central Bank) has begun buying these countries’ bonds worth billions of Euros. This action has helped alleviate the high yields on Italian and Spanish bonds which dropped to approximately 5%.

What we see is an across the board fall, in not only the American stock markets, but also across the European markets. This is consistent with a worldwide recession starting in American and Europe and spreading to Asia and the Middle East.