Weekly Market Commentary

December 7, 2020


Market News and Some Middle Class Benchmarks


The Markets

Major stock indices in the United States hit all-time highs on Friday, despite a lackluster employment report and a surge in COVID-19 cases, reported Lewis Krauskopf of Reuters. During the week, we saw:



Signs the economic recovery is faltering creates a strong incentive for Congress to pass a stimulus bill in 2020 instead of delaying until next year An analyst cited by the publication said, “Under the circumstances, it is hard to be a seller of any risk asset as long as there is a good possibility of getting a deal done…”

During the next few months, markets may be quite volatile. Hang tight and keep your eyes on your long-term financial goals.


What does it take to be middle class in the United States? The not-so-simple answer is it depends on how you define ‘middle class.’

In a 2018 report, Pew Research Center defined middle class as middle income. “In our analysis, “middle-income” Americans are adults whose annual household income is two-thirds to double the national median, after incomes have been adjusted for household size. In 2016, the national middle-income range was about $45,200 to $135,600 annually for a household of three.”

I am leaving this next quote in just as a brain teaser for my left brain thinkers who like data.

In November, USA Today shared an analysis by Michael Sauter that adopted a different standard. It considered U.S. family income from “…the lower boundary of the second quintile and the upper boundary of the fourth quintile [of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey], representing in total 60 percent of American families…The analysis made some cost-of-living adjustments and found, “…the range of income that could be considered middle class in a given state.”

Ok we are back!

In the states with the highest median (the number in the middle of the list) family incomes, middle-class income ranged from:

States in the middle of the pack for median family income had these middle-class income ranges:

In the states with the lowest median family incomes, the middle-class income range was:

It’s interesting to note the 2020 federal poverty threshold set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which determines eligibility for various federal programs, was $26,200 for a family of four.


Focus On The Positive

It’s a good time for me to share some more Yogi Berra humor to cheer you up!

A reporter asked Yogi, ”What would you do if you found a million dollars?”

Yogi replied: “I’d see if I could find the guy that lost it, and if he was poor ,I’d give it back.”

My parents always taught me to be honest. I figured if someone lost that much money, he’d be broke.


Best regards,

Bill Spalding