Seven Things You Should Know 11/6/2009

Seven Things You Should Know
November 6th 2009

1. 30% of Americans age 45-64 surveyed in late July 2009 have stopped contributing to a pre-tax retirement plan (source: AARP).

2. Total household debt in the US was $13.7 trillion as of 6/30/09, 96% of the size of our $14.2 trillion economy. The debt-to-economy ratio was 60% in 1990 (source: Federal Reserve, Commerce Department).

3. The average cost for 1-year of college education at an in-state public college is $15,213 for the 2009-10 school year (including tuition, fees, room and board). The total 1-year cost has increased +6.5% per year over the last 30 years. If that same annual rate of inflation continues into the future, then a 6th grader today will ultimately pay $104,000 for his/her 4-years of education at an in-state public college during the years 2016-20 (source: College Board).

4. U.S. unemployment rose by more than expected in October to hit its highest level in more than 26 years. Nonfarm payrolls fell by 190,000 last month, with the largest job losses in construction, manufacturing, and retail trade. Economists had expected a 175,000 decrease. (source: Wall Street Journal)

5. The average nationwide price of gasoline has increased $1.08 a gallon YTD to $2.70 as of last Friday while the price of oil has increased $32.89 a barrel YTD to $77.49 (source: AAA, NY Mercantile).

6. With the S&P 500 moving back above its 50-day moving average, the percentage of stocks in the index above their 50-days is unsurprisingly back above 50% — 51% to be exact. But there are still a few sectors that have failed to get this 50-day indicator back above 50%. The Financial sector ranks the worst with just 29% of stocks above their 50-days. (source: Bespoke Investment Group)

7. In Retail Sales news: Major chains report a 1.8% year-over-year gain, the best showing since June 2008 and the second straight monthly increase as shoppers turned to discounters and high-end stores alike. (source: LA Times)

Have a great weekend!