The bottom line
▪ There are now more stock market indexes in the U.S. than there are individual stocks. There are just over 4,000 stocks compared with 5,000 indexes, including traditional ones, like the S&P 500, and niche indexes that track specific industries or other groups of similar stocks.
▪ Relatively few CEOs were fired for ethical violations at the world’s 2,500 largest public companies in 2016— just 18—but the number has been rising in recent years. Between 2012 and 2016, the share of CEOs fired for ethical lapses doubled in the U.S. and Canada, to 3.3_percent of all executive transitions.
▪ Amazon’s initial public offering occurred 20 years ago this month. An investor who put in $10,000 then would have nearly $5_million today. Amazon’s valuation of $464_billion is now twice that of Walmart.
The New York Times
▪ Activist investors have launched nine campaigns targeting top executives so far this year, the fastest pace on record, according to financial data firm FactSet. Since January, activists have pushed out executives at three high-profile S&P_ 500 companies: insurance giant AIG, the railroad CSX, and aerospace manufacturer Arconic.
The Wall Street Journal
▪ The federal government spent $71_billion on the mortgage interest deduction in 2015—90_percent of which went to households earning more than $100,000. About two-thirds of American households own a home, but only one-quarter of them claim the mortgage interest deduction.
The Atlantic ■