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Record Gas Prices, $BRK Valuation, Income Fund Yields | What’s Trending on YCharts?
With every edition of What’s Trending on YCharts?, we reveal the stocks, funds, and economic data that generated the most traffic each month on YCharts. Are any of these names or data points on your radar?
YCharts pageview data from June 2022 showed that trending market topics include the price-to-book ratio for Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), the current state of mutual fund dividend yields, and what might really be behind those high oil and gas prices.
To see everything that’s been trending on YCharts, watch the full episode here:
Most Popular Company Pages
These stock data pages had the most unique pageviews in June 2022.
Although a 23% drop in price from its near-term high in late March is mostly to blame, the price-to-book value for Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) has fallen to 1.2. This is well below its historical average of 1.53, and currently at its lowest level since January of last year. Additionally, the last time Berkshire Hathaway’s PB value was less than 1 was March 2020 (the level at which a company is generally defined as fairly valued).
Being a large conglomerate of diverse businesses, Berkshire Hathaway can provide a sort of pulse check on the broader market. Is this recent drop in valuation just a return toward fair valuation, or a potential buying opportunity?
In a year where there is seemingly nowhere to hide, high-dividend funds have been an interesting place of refuge in 2022. The S&P 500, represented by the Vanguard 500 Index Admiral Fund (VFIAX) in the chart below, is down 20.6% through the first half of 2022. Its current dividend yield is 1.62%. However, the Vanguard Wellesley Income Investor (VWINX) and Vanguard Wellesley Income Admiral (VWIAX) both sport dividend yields just shy of 3% and are only down 11.3% in 2022.
The higher dividend yield and lower drawdowns of these funds have been a “win-win” for investors amidst this borderline bear market environment—and perhaps why they experienced a surge in pageviews on YCharts.
When you swipe your credit card at the gas pump, you might wonder: how did the price of gas get to $5 per gallon?
Some of the blame has been pinned on the supply of oil not being able to keep up with demand. It is no secret that Americans are back on the road in full force, evidenced by the US moving 12-month total of vehicle miles traveled that’s just about back to its pre-pandemic highs as of April. On the other hand, crude oil production both in the US and globally are rising steadily, but have not quite caught up to those levels before the pandemic struck.
Though US refineries are being highly utilized, it seems that less total oil available might be the culprit driving gas prices to record highs.