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The Index: March 2016

The Index: March 2016

Facts and figures to make advisors go hmm.

Change in the S&P 500 in January, the 10th worst January on record: -5.1%

Source: Wall Street Journal Market Data Group

Probability that the S&P 500 ends the year, up or down, the way it finishes January: 72.4%

Estimate for fourth quarter 2015 growth in adjusted earnings per share for S&P 500: -4.1%

Excluding energy companies: +2.1%

Source: Thomson Reuters

Portion of companies whose returns fell short of their cost of capital in 2015: 55%

Source: New York University Stern School of Business, Professor Aswath Damodaran

Source Harper’s magazine

Rank of Balchem (NASDAQ: BCPC, up 107,099 percent since 1985, among the best performing stocks over the past 30 years: 1

Source: Wall Street Journal

Sum of off balance lease obligations of the 100 Fortune 500 companies with the most such obligations: $539 billion

Source: LeaseAccelerator, Inc.

Rank of Walgreen Boots Alliance, Inc., with $33.7 billion in off-balance sheet assets: 1

Change in completed foreclosures in December 2015 from a year earlier and the lowest for any month since November 2007: -22.6 percent

Foreclosures Since the Meltdown

Number of completed foreclosures across the country since the beginning of the financial meltdown in September 2008: 6.1 million

Source: CoreLogic National Foreclosure Report; Irvine, Calif.

Number of banks closed in 2014, the largest net decline in history: 1,657

Source: FDIC, Washington, D.C.

Percent of millennials who would rather go to the dentist than listen to what banks are saying: 71%

Source: Forrester Research Inc.

Source: Heritage Foundation, Wall Street Journal

Percent of directors at S&P 500 companies who held four or more seats in 2015, down from 27% in 2005: 5 percent

Source: MSCI ESG Research, New York

Number of directors who occupied six or more board seats in 2015, down from 308 a decade earlier: 5  

Average number of hours a year spent by the average board member in 2015: 248 hours. 

Source: The National Association of Corporate Directors

Percent of S&P 500 companies that put limits on number of outside directorships: 77%

Source: Spencer Stuart, Chicago

Average price of new single-family homes, up from $204,000 in 2009: $305,000

Source: BusinessWeek

Median size, in square feet, of newly built, detached homes, up 28 percent from 1992: 2,445

Median size, in square feet, of the lots for these new homes, down 12 percent from 1992: 8,774

Source: U.S. Commerce Department

Got a Driver's License?

Percent of people between the ages of 20 and 24 who are licensed to operate a motor vehicle, down from about 92 percent in 1983: 77%

Source: University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Average hourly rate for retail workers in the U.S. in 2015: $9.79

Source: PayScale

Average hourly rate for full-time Walmart employees after a raise announced in December: $13.38

Source: Walmart Stores

Source: Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, D.C.

Number of U.S. businesses jointly owned/equally operated by husband and wife: 1.4 million

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Number of consecutive years of declines in U.S. sales of soda by volume: 11

Source: Nielsen

Average percent by which Uber lowered its base fares in 100 cities in North America, the third year in a row it has discounted fares in January: 15

Amount that Uber lost in the first three quarters of 2015 on $1.2 billion in revenue: $1.7 billion

Source: Uber, San Francisco

Number of Rapid Reward Points needed on Southwest Airlines to qualify for a companion pass that scores a year of free flights for a partner: 110,000

Source: Southwest Airlines

Share of net business income in 2012 paid by 'C' corporations: 47.2%

By partnerships: 26.3%

Source: U.S. Treasury Department and Jason DeBacker, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Confirmed number of people worldwide aged 112 or older: 40

Source: Gerontology Research Group, Atlanta

Number that age listed as alive on Social Security Administration rolls: 6,500

Source: U.S. Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General. 

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