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10 Things You Should Know This Week

Week of 10/1/23


Bring out your dead (money)  Despite an overall gain of 55.2% in the last five years, more than 25% of stocks in the S&P 500 Index are lower now than they were five years ago. (Source: Investor’s Business Daily, as of 8/31/23)


Putting the non in non-fungible – Less than two years after the bull run on digital collectibles, a new report finds that 95% of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are now worthless. An estimated 23 million people are stuck with these digital assets that sold for collective millions of dollars in 2021 and 2022. (Source: Business Insider)


And that’s why it’s not the “S&P 493” – The S&P 500 Index is up 13.9% year-to-date, primarily driven by the so-called “Magnificent 7” stocks, which have returned an average of 81.1% for the year to date. The rest of the Index, the less magnificent 493, is only up 3.6%. (Source: Factset, as of 9/22/23)


Retail ruffians run amok – Organized retail crime accounted for $112 billion in losses in 2022. The theft is significant enough to impact profit margins and, ultimately, stock prices: CVS, Walgreens, and Dick's Sporting Goods have cited increasing violence and theft in stores as a factor in recent disappointing earnings results. (Source: The NRF and Axios)


Do they come with air fresheners, too? – Japanese car exports to the US have surged, due in part to a weakening yen vs. the dollar. Car exports were 50% higher in yen terms in August compared to the year prior. Japan’s auto industry could stand to benefit even more due to the United Auto Workers strike.  (Source: Axios)


Finding that footing – China kept its benchmark lending rates steady at September's meeting, as recent economic data showed signs its economy is stabilizing. The economic stabilization and weakening yuan reduced the need for immediate monetary easing. (Source: Reuters)


The childcare cliff – $24 billion in emergency childcare funding dried up on 9/30. Part of the American Rescue Plan Act, the funding was designed to help childcare centers during the pandemic. An estimated 70,000 childcare centers will close without the additional funding, impacting 3.2 million children. (Source: Time)


Well, 1 out of 3 ain’t bad – The Writer’s Guild of America ended its strike against Hollywood studios last week after signing a new three-year contract. While late nights will be funny again, the discontent isn’t all behind us: The actors’ union is still on strike, as are autoworkers. (Source: AP News)


Livin’ on a prayer – Almost half (49%) of all retirees don’t plan out their withdrawals or use any retirement-income strategies. Instead, they just take money when they need it. (Source: Schroders US Retirement Survey, 2023)


The NFL’s wildest dreams – Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has been linked romantically to megastar Taylor Swift, and the Swift Effect is working at full speed. After Swift was seen cheering on Kelce with his mom during a home game, sales of Kelce merchandise rose 400%, he gained more than 325,000 new Instagram followers, and ticket sales for the week 4 Chiefs vs. Jets game rose threefold in 24 hours on the mere rumor that Swift, a NYC resident, might attend. (Source: Axios and Yahoo Finance)


Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Indices are unmanaged and not available for direct investment. 

Hartford Funds may or may not be invested in the companies referenced herein; however, no particular endorsement of any product or service is being made. 

S&P 500 Index is a market capitalization-weighted price index composed of 500 widely held common stocks.




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