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The Week in Numbers: the $8 trillion tumble

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STORY: From a horrible half for world stocks, to a major milestone for the iPhone, this is the Week in Numbers. First up…

About $8.5 trillion is the value lost by stocks on Wall Street’s S&P 500 index over the first half of the year. That marks its worst first-half decline since 1970. Rising rates and worries over growth have had investors on the defensive for months.

11% is the year-to-date loss for U.S. government bonds. Deutsche Bank reckons that’s their worst first-half showing since 1788. The global benchmark bonds have tumbled as central banks race to hike rates.

Northwestern Mutual portfolio manager Matt Stucky says stagflation is the big concern for investors now:

“If, for whatever reason, inflation ratchets up even higher than we’ve seen so far, that’s where the risk really is. It’s not so much that growth slows, it’s that growth slows and inflation doesn’t slow.” [8761]

8.6% was the new record high inflation hit by the euro zone in June. That will firm the case for rate hikes by the European Central Bank this month.

30% is the cut in hiring of new engineers at Facebook-parent Meta Platforms this year. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the move was unavoidable, warning staff that a deep economic downturn was coming.

And $1.4 trillion is the total value of iPhone sales after 15 years on the market. That’s about equivalent to the size of Spain’s economy. The success has propelled Apple to become the world’s most valuable company at times this year.

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Reuters