Char's Topic Of Interest



Voter Turnout Statistics – Domestic Demographics

During the 2012 Presidential Election, as in previous elections, voter turnout was closely followed. This year’s election may have similar characteristics as other elections, making who turns out to vote once again important. A few key factors affect voter turnout, including education, income, and age.

Presidential Election Voting Poster Set. Vector Illustration.

Income disparity has become more of a discussion among politicians. In the 2012 election, individuals with a higher level of education tended to vote more than those voters with lower incomes.

Voter turnout is determined by the number of eligible voters who cast a ballot during an election. Some voters are individuals while others are members of larger families, thus creating social economic dynamics. Social economic factors significantly affect whether or not individuals and family members develop a discipline of voting in future elections.

It is suggested that the most important social economic factor affecting voter turnout is education. That is the more educated an individual is, the higher the probability that he or she will vote during any given election. Hence, it’s no surprise that all political parties strongly support a strong educational base in this country.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Bipartisan Policy Center

The Correlation between Stock & Oil Prices


Why Stocks Went Down When Oil Went Down –Domestic Equity Update

Equity markets descended in January alongside oil prices, while testing new lows with a visible increase in volatility. Oil’s dramatic price drop has been a catalyst for stock prices heading lower, a so-called correlation that has actually existed for years.

There are various theories as to how oil and stock prices might be correlated, yet one of the most accepted revolves around macro economic global dynamics.

Oil is the most traded and actively utilized commodity in the world whose consumption represents the economic activity worldwide. So when oil supplies grow and demand drops, markets interpret that as an economic slowdown. Such a slowdown thus migrates into the equity markets, where economic activity and growth is essential for expansion and higher equity prices.

Lower oil prices can also be beneficial for certain sectors, such as transportation and airlines, whose primary expenses are fuel. Economists expect a possible lag effect with recent low oil prices, which may eventually appear on corporate income statements. Obviously, lower oil prices are not conducive to oil industry sector companies, whose margins shrink as oil prices drop.

Some fixed income investors now view U.S. energy stocks as opportunities to earn higher yields on dividends compared to where they were months ago. Lower valuations on energy stocks have led to higher stock dividend yields as prices have fallen.

Sources: Economic Premise #150 World Bank, IMF Research Bulletin, Federal Reserve System Perspective