Saturday, July 9, 2011

Stock Prices Then & Now: 1999-2009 versus March 2009 To Today

According to the Wall Street Journal, stocks as measured by the Standard & Poor's Index delivered a negative annualize return of minus 0.86% for the decade from 1999 to 2009.

Stocks since March 2009, when they hit bottom, have nearly doubled again as measured by the Standard & Poor's Index.

High unemployment and high stock prices: what explains them?

Companies have shed workers, with private payrolls 6.7 million lower than in December 2007.  Productivity of the remaining workers is much higher, in part due to capital investment.  Labor costs are down, productivity is up, consumer demand was stabilized, with US GDP in 2010 as big as in 2007.  That adds up to high corporate profits and a near doubling in stock prices.

The economy of the last 2 years has been great for stock investors after a horrendous decade.  But the economy is hurting, crippling millions of Americans who cannot find work or who are underemployed. 

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