Political Calculations

Posted February 03, 2016

Just one week ago, we observed that the pace of dividend cuts being announced in the first quarter of 2016 was "slower than at the same point of time in the first quarter of 2015. Which is an early indication that the U.S. economy is so far performing better than it did a year ago."

Posted February 02, 2016

What if you had advance knowledge of how the U.S. stock market would behave in the upcoming week? Or at the very least, you were told by someone who works in the future exact how the market would respond to a given set of circumstances that would be likely to play out in the week ahead, but not exactly when the market when the market would react to those circumstances.

Posted January 29, 2016

Did you catch the headline in the Wall Street Journal yesterday about new home sales?

Posted January 28, 2016

Last June, we took on an unusual project, where we extracted the advertised sale price of a single iconic can of Campbell's condensed tomato soup from dozens of newspapers and more modern day sources for each month from January 1898 through the present.

Posted January 26, 2016

It turns out that we have some sort of gift for understatement. Here is the conclusion to what we posted about what to expect for the S&P 500 for Week 3 of January 2016 well before the opening of trading on Tuesday, 19 January 2016.

Posted January 21, 2016

We are currently working on a project where we're seeking to correlate large changes in the value of the S&P 500 with the timing of announcements of dividend cuts during the so-called "Great Recession".

Posted January 20, 2016

On Friday, 15 January 2015, the S&P 500 fell by 2.16%, from a value of 1921.84 to 1880.33, which in a week dominated by discussions of the odds of winning the Powerball lottery, is the kind of decline that has only a 1.75% chance of happening.

Posted January 15, 2016

It was delayed until 13 January 2015, but Standard and Poor's monthly dividend report for December 2015 [Excel spreadsheet] is now out!

Posted January 14, 2016

On 20 August 2015, a four year-long period of order broke down in the U.S. stock market, where in the period since, the behavior of stock prices may be characterized as chaotic. Our chart below shows how differently stock prices are behaving today as compared to the preceding period of order.

Posted January 12, 2016

We're going to play a little bit of catch up today, starting from the last time in 2015 that we discussed where the S&P 500 was going to head next.

Posted January 08, 2016

For an economy whose growth is hypothesized by some to be over, China is showing some surprising indications of economic expansion.

Posted January 07, 2016

As we were going on our annual Christmas holiday, the news broke that new home sales in the U.S. fell below the economic consensus. Worse, the U.S. Census Bureau's estimates of the number of new home sales in previous months were also revised significantly downward.

Posted January 06, 2016

In the end, it was close, but where U.S. companies announcing dividend cuts in 2015 are concerned, the first quarter of the year was ever so slightly worse than the final quarter of the year!

Posted January 04, 2016

We'd like to share what the future looks like for the S&P 500 at this point of time....

Posted December 23, 2015

One week ago, we described the pace of U.S. companies announcing that they would be cutting their cash dividend payments to their shareholders as being between "slow-to-slowing growth and contraction".

Posted December 22, 2015

Once upon a time, the only way that sailors crossing oceans could know if they were on course to their destinations required them to know what time it was.

Posted December 18, 2015

Whenever the U.S. Federal Reserve has the full attention of investors, they give us the ability to tell how far forward investors are looking in time as they are making their current day investment decisions.

Posted December 17, 2015

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's monthly data on the median sale prices of new homes in the U.S., the median sale prices of new homes in the U.S. through October 2015 are at the second highest level they have ever been, having fallen from the highest they have ever been in September 2015.

Posted December 15, 2015

Earlier in 2015, we developed a new kind of chart to provide a more real-time indication of the relative health of the private sector of the U.S. economy, in which we tracked the cumulative number of dividend cuts being announced each day through each calendar quarter, which we've periodically updated throughout the year.

Posted December 11, 2015

More or Less is a BBC 4 radio program, hosted by Undercover Economist Tim Harford, dedicated to explaining and sometimes debunking the numbers and statistics used in political debate, the news and everyday life.

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