News by the Numbers
Five noteworthy figures from the previous week

How much the Dow Industrials lost last week.

After big plunges Wednesday and Thursday, Friday saw a rally for the index: the blue chips gained 287.16. Across the previous two days, the Dow slid 1,378 points. Fears about spiking Treasury yields hurt shares, as did anxieties about tariffs, the Federal Reserve’s normalization of monetary policy, and the International Monetary Fund reducing its growth forecast for the U.S. for 2019. Hopefully, strong earnings will help to lift the mood on Wall Street this week and change investor focus.

Source: Wall Street Journal, CNN Business 1,2

The just-announced 2019 increase for Social Security retirement benefits.

This exceeds the 2.0% boost retirees got in 2018 and represents the largest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) since 2012. (The Social Security Administration made no COLAs to retirement benefits in 2010, 2011, and 2016, and the COLA was just 0.30% in 2017.)

Source: CNBC 3

Annualized inflation, as of September.

The latest Consumer Price Index surprised some investors. A month earlier, the yearly inflation rate stood at 2.7% (and in July, it was up at 2.9%). While the headline CPI did rise in September, the monthly advance was just 0.1%.

Source: MarketWatch 4

The modest increase in the base Medicare Part B premium for 2019.

The new standard monthly premium: $135.50. Roughly 3.5% of those receiving Medicare will have Part B premiums lower than that in 2019 due to Medicare’s “hold harmless” provision, which dictates that the Part B premium for Medicare recipients cannot increase at a rate greater than that of their Social Security benefits.

Source: Forbes 5

The mean interest rate for a 30-year home loan with a conforming loan balance at 20% down.

This number has not been so large since 2010, by the records of the Mortgage Bankers Association. That said, consider that average interest rates on 30-year FRMs with conforming loans were in the 6-7% range back in 2006-08 and above 8% at the start of the century.

Source: MarketWatch 6

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. All indices referenced are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.


1 – [10/12/18]

2 – [10/12/18]

3 – [10/11/18]

4 – [10/11/18]

5 – [10/12/18]

6 – [10/11/18]