Research October 13, 2021 WHAT A DAY! - 13 years ago this week (on Monday 10/13/08), the single-best trading day for the S&P 500® in the last 71 years (since 1950) took place – a gain of +11.58% (total return) in just 1 trading day (source: BTN Research).GOING UP? - Inflation as of 9/30/21, using the Consumer Price Index, will be reported this Wednesday 10/13/21. For the trailing 12 months ending 8/31/21, inflation was up +5.3%, a level not seen over the course of a calendar year in 31 years (source: Department of Labor).YOUR NEXT CAR - 25% of new auto sales in China in the year 2025 are projected to be electric vehicles. China is the world’s largest auto market (source: Bloomberg NEF).DON’T CHANGE THE LOGO - The Big 12 Conference is made up of 10 teams, but the league will drop to 8 teams when Texas and Oklahoma join the SEC in 2025. In response, the Big 12 has announced that Cincinnati, UCF, BYU and Houston will join its conference, bringing its membership back to 12 teams (source: Big 12 Conference). October 4, 2021 GET ME OUT - 3 out of 4 American adults surveyed (74%) say they would sell out of the US stock market if equities suffered a "moderate or big decline." 3,000 adults were surveyed in late summer 2021 (source: Vise).DID NOT GO TO COLLEGE - 64% of American adults at least age 25 do not have a bachelor’s degree from college (source: Census Bureau).SKILLS NEEDED - 75% of executives surveyed in December 2020 anticipate increased spending in "automation and technology" through December 2024 (source: McKinsey Global Economic Conditions survey). STUFF GOING NOWHERE - 73 vessels were anchored and awaiting entry into the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles on Sunday 9/19/21, an all-time record. An additional 37 vessels were drifting in the ocean within 20 miles of Long Beach and Los Angeles, but far enough offshore to prevent them from successfully dropping an anchor (source: Marine Exchange of Southern California). WHO WILL BE NEXT? - Through the first 4 weeks of the college football season, a total of 25 ranked teams in the AP (writers) weekly poll have been beaten, the greatest number of ranked teams to lose through the first 4 weeks of a college football season in polling that dates back 85 years. The highest ranked football teams to lose were # 3 ranked Clemson in week # 1 and # 3 ranked Ohio State in week # 2 (source: ESPN). September 21, 2021 WE ARE WAY BEHIND - The US may have the 3rd largest population of any country in the world, but # 1 China and # 2 India each have more than 4 times the number of people the US has (source: Census.gov).FACING EVICTION - When the Supreme Court ruled on 8/26/21 that the CDC had no legal authority to issue an eviction moratorium, just 6% of 43.6 million US renters were behind on their rent (source: Goldman Sachs). PRICES - Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, was up +5.3% over the 1-year ending 8/31/21. The last year when inflation was up at least +5% was 1990 or 31 years ago (source: Department of Labor). BEST AND WORST - Kansas has the # 1 "funding ratio" of any state retirement plan, i.e., the present value of assets set aside divided by the present value of pension obligations. At the other extreme, Connecticut is ranked 50th among US states with the lowest "funding ratio" for its state retirement plan (source: GoBankingRates.com).WORKER SHORTAGE - An estimated 20% of workers in the hotel and restaurant business globally have permanently exited the industry during the pandemic, electing instead to seek employment within industries that may provide greater job stability going forward (source: Tony Capuano, Marriott CEO). DALLAS OR CINCINNATI? - The most valuable NFL football team is the Dallas Cowboys, worth an estimated $6.9 billion. The least valuable NFL football team is the Cincinnati Bengals, worth an estimated $2.4 billion. The average NFL football team (there are 32 teams) is worth $3.5 billion (source: Sportico). September 14, 2021 THEY HAD ENOUGH - 3.2 million Americans retired in 2020, a +56% increase over the average 2.05 million Americans who retired over the previous 8 years, i.e., 2012-2019 (source: Pew Research Center).TWENTY YEARS AGO - The US stock market did not open at its regular time of 9:30am ET on Tuesday 9/11/01, shutting down after the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46am ET and the second plane hit the South Tower at 9:03am ET. When the market did reopen on Monday 9/17/21, the S&P 500 fell 4.9% (total return) for the day. The S&P 500 consists of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity and industry group representation. It is a market value weighted index with each stock's weight in the index proportionate to its market value (source: BTN Research). IN TROUBLE - At least 500 US corporations have filed for bankruptcy protection per year since 2015, including 630 in 2020. 242 corporations filed for bankruptcy in the 1st half of 2021 (source: S&P Global Mkt Intelligence). TOP TWO FOR FASHION IMPORTS - For the 12 months ending 7/31/21, China was the supplier of 23.3% of the USA’s "apparel" imports, while Vietnam had an 18.9% market share (source: Commerce Department). IN TIME FOR FOOTBALL - 23 states offer legalized sports betting today, with another 9 states having passed legislation allowing betting but they have yet to make the gambling operational (source: Amer. Gaming Association) September 9, 2021 COLA - The annual Social Security “cost-of-living adjustment” has been at least +4% twice in the last 30 years, a level likely to be surpassed when the 2022 adjustment is announced in October 2021 (source: Social Security).THEN AND NOW - The maximum Social Security benefit paid to a worker retiring at full retirement age in 2011 was $2,366 per month. That 2011 worker is now receiving $2,785 per month in 2021, an increase of +1.64% per year over the last 10 years (source: Social Security).HALF THE COUNTRIES - 98 countries, equal to 50% of the 195 countries in the world, have agreed to accept refugees from Afghanistan (source: State Department).MORE WILL FOLLOW - The Bahamas became the 1st nation to issue its official currency in digital form in 2020, i.e., a legally backed digital token developed by a central bank (source: Central Bank of The Bahamas).SO MUCH MONEY - Professional golf’s FedExCup finished with the top 30 golfers competing last weekend in Atlanta in the Tour Championship. The tournament winner took home $15 million for the year-long competition, 8th place won $1.1 million, and the golfer who finished last (30th) still made $395,000 (source: PGA).