In Markets "In a Nutshell"

Markets “In a Nutshell” for May 24, 2021

Investment Week at a Glance

Stocks finished mostly down for the week.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.51%, the S&P 500 fell 0.43%, the New York Stock Exchange Composite (2,000 stocks) fell 0.25% and the average investors index (Value Line Index) was down 0.46%.  Foreign stocks (DJ Global ex U.S.) were rose 1.29%.  Bond prices were unchanged for the week, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury ending the week at 1.63%.  (Data source: Wall Street Journal)

Weakness in Stocks Continues

Stocks ended the week modestly lower, continuing a trend of general weakness and causing investors to ponder whether or not the momentum generated from the vaccine rollout and government stimulus is beginning to fizzle out for stocks. An announcement from the Federal Reserve that the committee is beginning to consider the idea of pulling back some of the massive amount of support it has provided for financial markets since last March sent stocks lower in the middle of the week as markets have come to realize that the market may have to stand on its own legs sooner than it had expected. The unemployment claims report was also released last Thursday and continued to show improvement with another pandemic era low of people filing for unemployment for the week across the country. While the recent fall in stocks hasn’t been a dramatic fall that some of the more pessimistic forecasters may have expected, it is still showing the great deal of uncertainty that the market has for a post-reopening economy. (Barron’s)

Cryptocurrencies Nosedive  …  Again

After months of skyrocketing prices, the floor continues to fall beneath the cryptocurrency market as more pieces of negative news continue to come out for the asset class. China, one of the biggest countries in which cryptocurrency is “mined”, came out with stiff restrictions on trading and use of the fundamentally untraceable cryptocurrency market. China has been consistent with pouring cold water on decentralized currencies and is working on creating its own digital currency that it can fully control and use as an alternative to other cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. The U.S. is also beginning to regulate cryptocurrencies more with the IRS giving some tax guidance on the asset and the SEC pulling back some of the optimism that asset managers had for creating cryptocurrency products that it can sell to retail clients. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies reacted by continuing their steep drops in price well below its most recent highs, which is consistent with the asset class’ history of dramatic falls after parabolic rises. (Barron’s)



What was the annualized increase in dividends issued by companies in the 1st Quarter of this year? (Scroll Down for Answer)

  1.   $5 billion
  2.   $10 billion
  3.   $15 billion
  4.   $20 billion

























Answer below.



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   4.   Companies have increased dividend payments to an annualized amount of $20 billion, the biggest quarterly increase since 2012. (Barron’s).