Dow Jones industrial average surpasses 20,000 to record high


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The Dow, which tracks the largest publicly owned companies in the US, finally breaks record after a sudden rise in the past month

The Dow Jones industrial average finally broke through the 20,000 barrier on Wednesday morning a historic high for the leading stock market index and one it has been close to breaching since Christmas.

The Dow, which first nearly topped 20,000 on 13 December and again on 6 January, when it came within 0.37 points of the landmark, finally broke through after the opening bell was rung on Wall Street by Ashton Poole, CEO of lender Triangle Capital. When the closing bell was rung by executives from InBev, brewers of Stella Artois, traders whooped and cheered a new milestone in the index, which closed at a record high of 20,068.

The market had rallied sharply in the wake of Donald Trumps presidential victory but seemed to lose steam ahead of his first day in office. It broke the barrier on Wednesday morning after infrastructure stocks rose sharply ahead of the markets opening, boosted by Trumps renewed pledge to build a wall along the Mexican border and talks of massive infrastructure investment. A rise in Boeings shares, which reported better than expected results on Wednesday, and the continued rally in the financial sector that has accompanied Trumps win also helped push the Dow over the line.

President Trump (@POTUS)

Great! #Dow20K https://t.co/wXFhXBLgag

January 25, 2017

The Dow record comes as the S&P 500 index, tech-heavy Nasdaq and Londons FTSE 100 stock market index have all hit record highs in recent weeks.

The Dow, which has risen about 9% since Trumps victory, is probably the best-known US stock indicator although its limited measure is not the one favoured by most market professionals. It measures the performance of 30 of the largest publicly owned companies based in the United States, including Apple, ExxonMobil and Goldman Sachs. While it has inched over the 20,000 mark, overall its latest rise has been sudden. The Dow surpassed 19,000 for the first time just 42 days ago two days before the Thanksgiving holiday and has risen 5.6% since then. Similar sharp rises in the index have been followed by sharp falls.

The last time the Dow added 1,000 points so quickly was in May 1999. The index passed 10,000 in that same year, the height of the dotcom bubble, only to lose much of those gains in the coming crash. But market watchers said they believed this rally was on a more solid footing.

The recent rapid rise has been driven in part by expectations that Trump will introduce policies that will boost growth and cut regulatory pressures on US companies. Trump has pledged to roll back the Dodd-Frank regulations brought in to more tightly control financial institutions in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown. Banks and other financial companies have been among the biggest beneficiaries of the recent share-price rise.

But the rise comes against a strong upward trend in the Dow that stretches back to the end of the recession in 2009 and the decision of the Federal Reserve to slash interest rates, making shares a more attractive investment.

Rise in the Dow Jones industrial average

Few on Wall Street seemed overexcited by the news. When the Dow hit 10,000, Richard Grasso, then chairman of the New York stock exchange, closed the days trading with Rudy Giuliani, New Yorks mayor. They threw Dow 10,000 caps to a cheering crowd of traders.

The reaction was more muted this time, in part because so much trading has moved online since 1999 and also because the new level comes after an eight-year run of rises.

Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said given the overall health of the US economy he would have expected a broadly similar rise had Hillary Clinton won the election. Any changes to regulation Trump has planned could take years to pass and implement, he said, and investors were more interested in shorter-term trends. I would hesitate to call it a Trump rally, he said. Id say 80% of where we are now is down to fundamentals and probably another 20% is post-election enthusiasm.

Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of BMO Financial Group, called the news psychologically important but said it was unlikely to set a new benchmark for the index, and that the Dow would probably dip above and below the 20,000 level for some time.

The surge in financials is probably one of the biggest fuel sources for this rise, said Ablin. Its hard to know if its sustainable; there is a lot of expectation not only that these new policies will be passed but also that they will work.

New

Richard Grasso and Rudy Giuliani, right, celebrate the Dow passing 10,000 for the first time in 1999. Photograph: Henny Ray Abrams/AFP/Getty Images

Rapid rises in the Dow have been followed by equally rapid falls. The Dow peaked at 11,722.98 in January 2000. After the dotcom bubble burst it took more than seven years for the Dow to hit its next milestone of 12,000, in October 2006.

The Dow topped 14,000 in July 2007 the height of the housing bubble and less than three months after passing 13,000. After the crash it took the Dow six years to return to that level.

But Wren predicted 2017 would be a relatively stable year for US stock markets. I dont think 20,000 is a sign of overenthusiasm or froth, said Wren.

The Dow hit its record high after a new poll showed consumer confidence surged in December. The Conference Boards consumer confidence index rose to 113.7, up from 109.4 in November. Its expectations index, which measures consumers confidence about the future, increased sharply from 94.4 to 105.5, a 13-year high. Older consumers, however, were markedly more optimistic than younger ones.

The post-election surge in optimism for the economy, jobs and income prospects, as well as for stock prices, which reached a 13-year high, was most pronounced among older consumers, said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. Looking ahead to 2017, consumers continued optimism will depend on whether or not their expectations are realized.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/25/dow-jones-industrial-average-breaks-record-20000


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CNN 10 – January 26, 2017


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January 26, 2017

Israeli settlements in the West Bank, major changes to U.S. immigration policy, and a new high note for the Dow Jones Industrial Average: These are our main stories today on CNN 10. We’ll test your stock market knowledge, and we’ll explain how you can name a roach in the name of love.
TRANSCRIPT
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Global news for a global audience. This is CNN 10.
Welcome, everyone. I’m Carl Azuz.
The Middle Eastern nation of Israel is planning to expand its settlements, its housing areas in the West Bank. We start today by explaining why that’s significant.
The West Bank is a disputed area of land in the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. It used to be controlled by the nation of Jordan. But during a brief war, in 1967, Israel captured the land and claimed it as its own. Today, Israel says part of the land is historically theirs, part is politically theirs. It uses some of the land to provide security and it says it needs the space to give more housing to its people.
The Palestinians in the region say the land is theirs and that it was stolen. They’re hoping to have the West Bank as part of a future country of their own. And Palestinian officials say Israel’s decision to build new settlements there would threaten the region’s security and put an obstacle in front of any efforts to achieve peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
Timing may factor in the Israel’s decision. The U.S. has historically been an Israeli ally. But the Obama administration was strongly opposed to Israel’s construction of new settlements. Now, with the Trump administration in power, international experts expect that the U.S. will more supportive of Israel’s settlements.
Up next, major changes in the U.S. government’s immigration policy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just signed two executive orders that will save thousands of lives, millions of jobs, and billions and billions of dollars.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: One of them that President Trump announced yesterday has to do with sanctuary cities. These are cities that shelter people who are in the U.S. illegally. For example, police forces in these cities might not help U.S. government officials find and deport undocumented immigrants, unless they’ve committed certain crimes. President Trump wants to punish these cities for not cooperating with the federal government and he’d do that by taking away certain funds they get from the government.
“The Wall Street Journal” reports that the president’s ability to this is limited without congressional approval, but that he could slow down the process of giving these cities certain grants.
Critics of the executive actions say President Trump doesn’t have the constitutional authority to carry it out and that pressuring cities to deport illegal immigrants could tear families apart.
The other actions the president announced yesterday: add thousands of U.S. border patrol agents and thousands of other government officials to deport undocumented immigrants. This would require congressional approval to pay for.
And something the president repeatedly promised to do while campaigning — build a physical border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. President Trump says this will help the U.S. get back control of its borders and that the wall would help Mexico as well by discouraging illegal immigration from countries south of Mexico.
Mr. Trump plans to use U.S. government funds to pay for the construction and then get Mexico to pay America back. That’s something Mexican leaders have said they won’t do and critics say the wall would be a monumental waste of U.S. taxpayer money.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What would it take to build a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico?
You’re talking about an area 1,954 miles, stretching across California, Arizona, New Mexico and right here in Texas — just about 100 yards away from Mexico.
We spoke to civil engineers, architects and academics. They all say the wall can be built. It can be done. The question is, how?
The first thing one has to do is, before you go up, you have to go down and build a foundation. This will help provide support for the wall. In order to prevent people from tunneling under it, it should be at least five feet deep.
The second thing one must consider is what do you use to build the wall? What materials do you go after? Well, how about cinderblock?
The upside is it’s strong; it’s secure; it’s readily available. The downside is, it’s labor intensive to have to stack every single brick in order to build the wall. So, our experts say that option doesn’t work.
There is another option. Using poured concrete on site. That’s what they did when they built the Hoover Dam. The downside to that is when you poor concrete in warmer climates like along many of these border states, experts say what you could end up with is a weaker wall, because the concrete might not dry correctly, meaning a wall that could end up crumbling.
So what could be the answer here?
The experts that we spoke to say the way to go is pre-casted cement wall panels. Those panels will be lined side by side, sort of like what you might see on a highway. Each panel would be about 20 feet high. Again, five feet below ground. About ten feet wide and eight inches thick.
Again, that wall would be stretching some 2,000 miles, and our expert says it would require 339 million cubic feet of concrete. And that’s just for the panels. You’re also going to need reinforced steel. At least 5 billion pounds.
So what about the estimated cost?
Because it hasn’t been done before, let’s use those highway panels as an example. They cost about $40 a square foot. That would end up costing about $10.5 billion. Sounds like a lot of money, is a lot of money.
But again, remember, Donald Trump says the U.S. government wouldn’t end up footing the bill on this one. It would be Mexico.
And what about the timing on all of this? How long would it take to build? According to our expert, if you’re ambitious, you could get it done within a presidential term, four years.
Jason Carroll, CNN, McAllen, Texas.
(END VIDEOTAPE)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:
What do Apple, Home Depot, McDonald’s and Walt Disney have in common? Are they all based in California, part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, part of the NASDAQ, or none of these?
All four of these companies are included in the Dow, an average of 30 major U.S. stocks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: The Dow is one indicator of the health of the U.S. economy. It’s not the only one. But a rising stock market is usually seen as a good economic sign. And yesterday, the Dow hit a high note: 20,000, for the first time ever.
This number shows that the value of stocks in the average increased. The fact that it’s climbed this high shows that stock market investors are optimistic about the direction the economy is going in.
Experts credit the work of two U.S. leaders for the climb.
One, President Trump. Analysts believe his plans to cut taxes, increased spending on roads and bridges and reduced regulations on business could help increase corporate profits and help the American economy growth faster.
Two, former President Obama. Analysts believe the economy he left behind, which saw years of job growth and a decreasing unemployment rate also contributed to the Dow’s rise, since the great recession brought it down in early 2009. The recovery from that was considered to be slow. But the economy’s health has noticeably improved.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
(MUSIC)
REPORTER: It was mid-November 1972. This hit was number one on the Billboard charts. Richard Nixon had just won reelection and on Wall Street, traders marked Dow 1,000, with IBM, the growth stock of the day, leading the charge. It was the first truly mega Wall Street milestone.
It took the Dow 27 years to hit 10,000, in March 1999.
(MUSIC)
REPORTER: Cher’s hit “Believe” was topping the charts. Stocks were truly a force of nature back then. And at the end NYSE, traders went nuts.
STEPHEN GUILFOYLE, PRESIDENT, SARGE986: That was kind of a big deal. At that time, there were still a lot of people down here. We probably still have between us and the Amex, maybe 7,500 people. So, at that time, yes, it was confetti in the air, with everybody wearing baseball caps.
REPORTER: A little event called the global financial crisis leveled stocks in 2008, sending the Dow plunging below 7,000. But those with the stomach for rest were rewarded when stocks roared back.
President Trump’s victory in November sparked a powerful rally, bringing the Dow less than a point away from 20,000. Stocks turned choppy. The milestone remained elusive.
Some may play down these benchmarks, but soaring stocks can boost consumer confidence, and for traders on the New York Stock Exchange, big round numbers remain magical.
(END VIDEOTAPE)
AZUZ: Nothing says “I love you” like naming a roach. At New York City’s Bronx Zoo, love is in the air as Valentine’s Day nears. What they’re allowing people to do is to name a Madagascar hissing cockroach after a loved one, or as they put it, a not-so loved one.
Since the annual event started in 2011, more than 11,000 roaches had been named. For 10 bucks, you get a certificate. For 50, you can get that, some chocolates and a flash roach doll. Of course, the lucky lady or gentleman might hate that approach. They might respond with reproach, or they might broach the subject of a breakup.
On the other leg, if they have their antennae out for something unusual, and this doesn’t make them hiss-terical or encroach on any other plans, maybe they’ll find it truly roachmantic.
I’m Carl Azuz.
CNN 10 serves a growing audience interested in compact on-demand news broadcasts ideal for explanation seekers on the go or in the classroom. The show’s priority is to identify stories of international significance and then clearly describe why they’re making news, who is affected, and how the events fit into a complex, international society.
Thank you for using CNN 10

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/25/studentnews/ten-content-thurs/index.html


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44 ways to judge the Obama era

Washington (CNN)President Barack Obama, the 44th commander in chief of the United States, caps off eight years in office on January 20.

Those eight years saw the nation grapple with the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. The country’s response to that crisis helped reshape the economy and the makeup of the political system a few times over. And for every day of those eight years, the nation was at war — on multiple fronts, against multiple groups for multiple purposes.
All of these momentous changes during Obama’s presidency had very real effects on people across the country and the globe. And for each of these real-world impacts, there is a number.
CNN Money has charted the Obama economy while The New York Times has explored 2016 in numbers. Here, 44 statistics open a window to the 44th President’s expansive impact.

1. Unemployment

The recession cost many people their livelihood. The following years saw many of those same people gain it back. While part of the drop in unemployment came from people leaving the workforce, enough people have jobs now that, statistically speaking, employment has recovered from the darkest days of the economic crisis.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics‘ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate:
  • When Obama came into office during January 2009, the unemployment rate was 7.8%.
  • The highest point in the data set came in October 2009, when unemployment hit double digits at an even 10%.
  • The final unemployment report under Obama put the unemployment rate at 4.7% for December 2016.

2. Oil

    Due in part to a revolution in domestic fossil fuels and massive oil production overseas, oil and gas have been pretty cheap for some of Obama’s presidency.
    Here’s what the situation looks like.

    3. The stock market

    Following years of upward climb and a rally after President-elect Donald Trump’s electoral victory, stocks are near record highs.
    Here’s stock market performance as of January 3, 2017:

    4. Down-ballot races

    Obama’s election coincided with Democratic victories across the nation and the strong 2008 showing built on the party’s successes in 2006. But as the years went on, the situation virtually reversed itself. Obama will exit office with the Republican Party resurgent on the state and federal levels.
    Here’s the breakdown for state government, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures:

    Here’s the breakdown for the US Congress, according to the Senate and House of Representatives.

    5. Opioid crisis

    Deaths from opioid-related overdose deaths have been on the rise. More people are dying from overdoses on heroin and prescription pain medicine like oxycodone and fentanyl.
    The National Center on Health Statistics and CDC WONDER report the number of opioid-related overdose deaths nationwide:

    6. Pot laws

    States with legal marijuana or cannabis products have blossomed under Obama. When he took office, recreational marijuana wasn’t legal in any state.
    Here’s what marijuana legalization looks like now, with information compiled by CNN Health:
      • Recreational: 8 states + the District of Columbia
      • Medical: 19 states
      • Medical CBD: 11 states

      7. Medicaid expansion

      The Affordable Care Act set aside funding for states to expand Medicaid — a government health care program for the poorest Americans. But the process became something of a tussle with state governments and many of their Republican leaders. By the end of Obama’s presidency, only the slim majority of states had opted to expand Medicaid.
      The District of Columbia and 31 states expanded Medicaid, per the Kaiser Family Foundation.

      8. Insurance coverage

      As the economy recovered and the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, reformed the health care market, more people had health insurance coverage.
      Here’s the total percentage of people without insurance, according to the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey:

      9. National debt

      By the end of Obama’s presidency, government debt had nearly doubled to about $20 trillion.
      To be specific, the Treasury Department as of January 13, 2017, pegged the total public debt outstanding at $19,940,614,376,504.40.

      10. Deportation

      Trump said during his campaign that he’d create a special force to deport undocumented immigrants. Although Obama criticized Trump’s immigration proposals, he detained and deported millions of men, women and children. Obama’s administration deported the people — 434,015 — in 2013.
      Here are total “removals” of people according to the Department of Homeland Security’s 2015 yearbook of immigration statistics (the most recent year for which data are available):

        11. Interest rates and inflation

        The Federal Reserve increased its interest rate by .25% in December 2016 for the second time since the financial crisis. The rates had been cut to zero in 2008. Many were concerned the Fed’s easy money policies would cause inflation to skyrocket. Instead, inflation hasn’t risen by much yet for years.
        Here’s the rate of inflation, per the Minneapolis Fed.

        12. The car industry

        General Motors (GM) was down to 75 cents a share in May 2009.
        As of January 3, 2017, GM’s stock was up to $35.15.

        13. Inequality

        The US has grown more unequal over the past few decades, including the past eight years.
        One commonly cited measure is the Gini index. The number ranges from zero to 1, and the higher the Gini index is, the more unequal the distribution of income is.
        According to the Census, it was .469 in 2009 and .4817 in 2017.
        Another way to look at it comes from a recent study by economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.
        The bottom half of earners have seen their pre-tax incomes fall while the highest earners have seen a fairly steady rise.

        14. Wage gap

        Debate abounds over how and why incomes vary by gender and whether the wage gap can fairly be said to exist. However, men and women, as well as people of different races, all have much different pay.
        Here are the median weekly earnings for employed, full-time wage and salary workers in 2015, with an overall average of $809, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

        15. Economic growth

        Following the dips in growth that marked the recession, the economy slowly and steadily rebounded. Many, including Trump, have said observed rates of growth are far too low.
          Here’s annual GDP growth, from the World Bank:

          16. Bills vetoed and signed

          During Obama’s tenure, he vetoed a total of 12 bills. Only one of those vetoes, the bill that would allow the families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot, was overridden by Congress and passed into law.
          Since 2009, 1,294 bills were signed into law that dealt with everything from the economy to foreign policy to health care, according to GovTrack.

          17. Homeless veterans

          The Obama administration put forth “an aggressive strategy to end veteran homelessness” in 2010 as part of its overall plan to combat homelessness in the US. The White House reports overall veteran homelessness decreased by 36% since 2010. There have been about 90,000 vouchers from 2008-16 to help house homeless vets, according to the Military Times.

          18. Violent crimes

          From 2014-15, the nation saw a 3.9% increase in the estimated number of violent crimes — the FBI released its annual report for 2015 that said there were an estimated 1,197,704 violent crimes committed.

          19. Hate crimes

          Hate crime incidents in the US neared 6,000 in both 2013 and 2015.
          • 2015: 5,850 incidents, 6,885 offenses
          • 2014: 5,479 incidents, 6,418 offenses
          • 2013: 5,928 incidents, involving 6,933
          • 2012: 5,796 incidents, 6,718 offenses

            20. Childhood obesity rates

            Youth obesity rates in the United States have steadily risen over the few decades past, nearly tripling in the past 30 years — a trend first lady Michelle Obama worked to reverse during her time in the White House. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act sought to give more than 50 million children an opportunity to eat healthier school meals.

            21. Police violence

            According to reporting done by The Washington Post, 991 people were shot dead by police in 2015. In 2016, the number decreased to 963, but there remained a number of high-profile cases that caught the country’s attention, including the shootings of Philando Castine and Alton Sterling.

            22. Job creation

            The Obama administration created 11.3 million jobs in eight years, and the economy added jobs for 75 straight months, a record that totals 6 years.
            More jobs were created under Obama than under George W. Bush, who only created 2.1 million jobs. However, Obama fell short of Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, who saw 22.9 million and 15.9 million jobs created, respectively, under their presidencies.

            23. Carbon emissions

            Obama made combating climate change and promoting efficient sources of energy a key aspect of his presidency. With a 9.4% decrease in carbon emissions from 2008-15, he made progress toward his goal of a cleaner environment, according to the White House.

            24. Countries visited and trips abroad

            According to the State Department, Obama took 52 trips abroad and visited 58 countries, plus the West Bank zone, during his presidency. The countries he visited most were France and Germany, both of which he traveled to six times. He visited five of the seven continents, skipping over Australia and Antarctica.

            25. State dinners

            President Obama held 13 state dinners at the White House in his eight years, hosting 16 different countries. He hosted two for China, one while Hu Jintao was still in office in 2011 and one for Xi Jinping in 2015.
            The countries he hosted include:

            26. Price of homes

            Obama saw the average price of home rise to $305,400 by November 2016, according to the US Census Bureau. Before the economic crash, the all-time high had been $262,600 in March 2007.

            27. Home ownership rate

            According to US Census data, home ownership rates have decreased by 4% under Obama. When he took office in January 2009, the home ownership rate stood at 67.3%. Now, upon leaving office, the figure stands at 63.5%.

            28. Life expectancy

            Life expectancy has remained fairly steady under Obama. However, there was a statistically significant drop of 0.1 years from 2015 to 2016, bringing life expectancy down to 78.8 years currently as he leaves office.

            29. People receiving food stamps

            The number of people receiving food stamps has increased significantly under Obama, according to the USDA.
            When he was elected in 2008, 28,223,000 people were receiving food stamps.
            In 2016, 44,219,000 people received food stamps — an increase of nearly 16 million people.

            30. Troops in Afghanistan

            Although Obama has vastly reduced the number of troops in Afghanistan during his time in office, he has failed to withdraw all American troops from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
            When Obama took office in January 2009, there were 34,400 US troops in Afghanistan, according to the State Department.
            As of December 2016, there were still 9,800 troops left.

            31. Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay

            Just days before the current president turns the White House over to the President-elect, Obama released more prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, according to a defense official at the Pentagon.
            As of January 2017, 45 prisoners remain and 171 have been released under Obama.
            Nine of the 171 have been “confirmed” to have returned to terrorist activities, according to a government report.
            Obama had pledged to close the controversial center within one year in an executive order he signed shortly after his inauguration in January 2009.

            32. Rounds of golf

            Obama hit the links 333 times since assuming the presidency, according to CBS News’ Mark Knoller, the unofficial White House statistician who pledged to track each and every round played by the commander in chief.
            While his critics have said this is too many rounds to play, his figure doesn’t come close to the amount played by Woodrow Wilson, who is said to have played 1,200 rounds while President.

            33. Executive orders

            Obama issued 249 executive orders, the third-lowest of any president since Theodore Roosevelt.

            34. Median household income

            The median household income has both risen and fallen under Obama.
            In 2015, the median was $56,516, which was a 5.2% increase from 2014. This was also the first increase in median income since 2007, before the economic crash.

            35. Consumer confidence

            Consumer confidence rose continuously under Obama to its highest level since August 2007 — before the Great Recession — according to the Consumer Confidence Index released by The Conference Board.
            In December 2016, the index was a high 113.7 — a stark difference to when fell as low as 25 during the recession, when Obama took office.

            36. Poverty

            The poverty rate in the United States in 2015 was 13.5%. This is down 1.2 percentage points from 14.8% in 2014. In 2015, there were 43.1 million people in poverty, 3.5 million fewer than in 2014.
            The 2015 poverty rate was 1 percentage point higher than in 2007, the year before the most recent recession.

            37. Birth rate

            The birth rate fell to 59.8 births per 1,000 women in 2016 under Obama.
            This marks the lowest birth rate since the government started keeping track in 1909, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

            38. Price of milk

            The price of milk decreased under Obama from $3.58/gallon when he took office in January 2009 to $3.28/gallon as of November 2016.
            After the Great Recession, milk prices rose and have fluctuated since the economy turned around. Prices have been going down steadily since the beginning of 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

            39. Student loan debt

            2015 was a historic year for student loan debt. Students graduating with an undergraduate degree had on average $30,100 in loans, up 4% from 2014. Graduates who left college in 2009 when Obama assumed office averaged $24,000 in student loan debt, according to The Institute for College Access & Success.

            40. College tuition

            In 2016, the average college tuition increased by 2.4%. In 2015, the average private college cost $43,921 compared to $34,132 in 2008.

            41. US citizen deaths overseas from State-defined terrorism

            • The State Department recorded 80 US citizens killed by “terrorist action” from January 2009-June 2016 in Afghanistan.
            • State recorded two US citizens by “terrorist action” in Iraq during the same time period.
            • In total, State reported 115 citizens killed by “terrorist action” from the beginning of Obama’s presidency to the latest date for which data are available.

            42. US active military involvement

            In 2016, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, the US dropped 26,172 bombs during the course of 2016. But CFR says that number is “undoubtedly low, considering reliable data is only available for airstrikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya, and a single “strike,” according to the Pentagon’s definition, can involve multiple bombs or munitions.” This number increased from 2015, according to CFR, where the estimate came to 23,144, which CFR also defined as a “probably slightly low” estimate.

            43. US drone strikes

            Obama was known as a leader who extensively utilized and expanded the country’s drone strike capabilities in fighting terrorism. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Atlantic reported the Obama administration launched 372 drone strikes in Pakistan, 112 in Yemen and 19 in Somalia as of March 2016.

            44. Clemency

            CNN’s Kevin Liptak, a White House reporter, has kept a running tally of Obama’s acts of clemency — the president’s decisions to pardon or commute criminal sentences.
            In his final week as president, Obama commuted the bulk of Chelsea Manning’s sentence and pardoned Gen. James Cartwright, who were both accused of leaking information to the public. The same day, Obama commuted hundreds of non-violent drug offenders. With those final moves, Obama’s total acts of clemency stood well above his predecessors.

            Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/18/politics/obama-presidency-statistics/index.html