The U.S. stock market has long been a staple of the U.S. economy and a favorite among investors looking for high rates of return. These investments, which can involve stocks, bonds, or even commodities on the stock market, tend to benefit from dividends that can be paid out and reinvested into newly bought shares. The overall outlook for the United States economy is positive, and growth continues to be strong. Historically, the stock market has risen in times of economic growth and fallen in times of weakness. Here are ten reasons why the stock market is currently growing.
1. Technological growth
Technological growth has been one of the biggest strengths of the U.S. economy. Computer technology, communications, and energy have significantly increased productivity. As a result, production can be done more efficiently and at lower costs for greater productivity and consumption. Improvements in communication technology have also allowed businesses to maintain a global presence that was previously not feasible before the Internet enabled the sale of products anywhere in the world. In addition, advances in new technologies such as artificial intelligence systems could lead to an increased need for software engineers that can adapt to future trends, generate new solutions, and create new products.
2. Growing Population
The global population is expected to reach 9.7 billion in 2015, up from 6.5 billion in 2013. Developing nations are seeing the most significant population increases due to a healthier workforce, as well as vaccination programs that have led to increased life expectancy and decreased infant mortality rates. In addition, the combination of globalization and growing technology has increased trade with other countries, increasing demand for food and other goods by providing more people with a better quality of life.
3. Improving employment outlooks
The U.S. economy has seen a steady improvement in employment rates since the 2008 recession, with the unemployment rate dropping from 10% to 6.2% in November 2013. The 2014 economic outlook shows further progress as long as there is not a sudden fall in growth due to geopolitical events, and even if there is, the government stimulus program should continue to provide short-term support for job growth.
4. Low default risks
With interest rates relatively low, bonds that pay more dividends can be purchased for investment purposes with low default risks because it is difficult for companies to go out of business when they are paying back their debts. The bond rate will eventually go up as inflation increases. Still, given that the Federal Reserve has been hesitant to raise rates, the increase will be gradual enough for investors to reap substantial gains through dividends.
5. Strong corporate profits
The stock market does not just pay out dividends based on high-growth industries but also on those sectors that provide higher returns based on low input costs and strong demand for their products going forward. As a result, many companies in the financial industry are paying out higher dividends because they are less likely to suffer from a downturn in performance when interest rates remain low, and demand remains high due to a growing number of homes securing mortgages at low rates of interest.
6. Low inflation
Low inflation has been a significant factor in the recent economic recovery. With lower increases in prices, companies can now pass on lower costs to consumers without having to charge higher fees and risk losing sales to competitors who can offer lower prices. Continued low inflation is also expected over the next few years, mainly if the dollar stays weak as it has been thus far.
7. International trade
The expansion of international trade, especially the growth of Asian markets, has led to the production and sale of various goods and services that were previously unavailable. For example, automobiles have become more common in many Asian countries over the past few decades because they were previously unavailable in those markets. As a result, industries such as autos have seen a positive boost in demand due to the increased sales volume in the future.
8. Declining commodity prices
Commodity prices are falling as a result of lower input costs. Furthermore, demand for these resources is at historic lows, with the U.S. Energy Information Administration referring to current demand levels as “abnormally low.” The falling prices are true for all commodities, including oil and natural gas, which have dropped by over 50% in recent years. The falling prices will boost the economy by making it easier for businesses to operate and hire more employees.
The stock market is rising due to the growth of technology, population, and improving employment and economic outlooks. As a result, most stocks are expected to pay higher dividends because they are undervalued right now. The long-term outlook for the U.S. stock market is positive.