Research Contributor: Dan Rosenberg
Cost of things (U.S. Averages):
-Gallon of Milk~ $2.908 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
-Dozen Eggs~ $1.34 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
-Loaf of bread~ $0.97 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
-U.S. Postage Stamp~ 37 cents (http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/economics/postalrates.htm)
-New Car Price~ $27,561 (Edmunds.com) http://www.edmunds.com/car-news/averagetransaction-prices-hit-record-32386-in-2014-edmunds-report-says.html
-Gallon of Gas~ $1.92 (US Dept. of Transportation)
-Movie Ticket~ $6.21 (National Association of Theater Owners)
-Price of new house~ $271,300 (Census.gov)
-Sunday newspaper~ NYT $3.50, Washington Post $1.50
-Home mortgage (30-year loan) ~ 5.86%
-Average household income – $55,565 (Statista.com)
U.S.~ Nasdaq composite Up 8.6%
~Russell 2000 Up 17%
~Dow Jones Ind Up 3.2%
~S & P 500 Up 9%
Japan ~ Nikkei 225 Up 11.4%
Germany ~ DAX Up 2.3%
United Kingdom ~ FTSE Up 8.7%
Hong Kong ~ Hang Seng Up 16.7%
Gold(per troy oz) ~ Up 4.6%
Crude Oil(Nymex futures prices) Up 28.6%. Oil prices reach the highest level ever (not adjusted for inflation), rising above $40 per barrel in May and above $50 per barrel in October, driven by growing world demand, especially from China. Gasoline prices climb above $2 a gallon across the United States.
source U.S. Energy Information Administration
Yeah!~ Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris
Burn ~ Usher
If I Ain’t Got You ~ Alicia Keys
This Love ~ Maroon 5
The Way You Move ~ OutKast featuring Sleepy Brown
The Reason ~ Hoobastank
I Don’t Wanna Know ~ Mario Winans featuring Enya & P. Diddy
Hey Ya! ~ OutKast
Goodies ~ Ciara featuring Petey Pablo
Lean Back ~ Terror Squad
Tipsy ~ J-Kwon
Confessions, Pt. II. ~ Usher
Slow Motion ~ Juvenile featuring Soulja Slim
Freek-A-Leek ~ Petey Pablo
Here Without You ~ 3 Doors Down
Slow Jamz ~ Twista featuring Kanye West & Jamie Foxx
Someday ~ Nickelback
Naughty Girl ~ Beyonce
My Immortal ~ Evanescence
Sunshine ~ Lil’ Flip featuring Lea
Top Television Shows:
My Big Obnoxious Fiance
Everybody Loves Raymond
Without a Trace
Law and Order
Two and a Half Men
Will and Grace
Million Dollar Baby (won best picture)
The Passion of Christ
The Phantom of the Opera
The Polar Express
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
Meet the Fockers
The Da Vinci Code ~ Dan Brown
The South Beach Diet ~ Arthur Agatston
Angels and Demons ~ Dan Brown
The Purpose-Driven Life ~ Rick Warren
The Five People You Meet in Heaven: A Novel ~ Mitch Albom
The South Beach Diet Good Fats Good Carbs Guide ~ Arthur Agatston
My Life – Bill Clinton
The Notebook ~ Nicholas Sparks
Deception Point – Dan Brown
Digital Fortress – Dan Brown
The 9/11 Commission Report – National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
Top Fashion Trends:
Hip-hugging capri pants
Polka-dot skinny scarves
Part-mesh camouflage caps
Long-sleeved tops under t-shirts
Silk shirts with silk ties
Pairing a cap with a suit jacket, jeans and a skinny scarf
Fur ski boots
George W. Bush, President of the United States.
Hu Jintao, President of China.
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia.
Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Pope John Paul II of Vatican City.
Jacques Chirac, President of France.
Colin Powell, United States Secretary of State.
Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The year 2004 was declared “International Year of Rice” by the United Nations and the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle Against Slavery and its Abolition by UNESCO.
January 4 – NASA’s Spirit rover lands on Mars.
January 24 – NASA’s Opportunity rover lands on Mars.
February 1 – A Haj stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia, kills 251 pilgrims.
February 1 – Controversy erupts at the Super Bowl halftime show when singer Janet Jackson’s breast is momentarily revealed by singer Justin Timberlake, in what becomes known as the “wardrobe malfunction.” In the game, the New England Patriots defeat the Carolina Panthers 32-29.
February 4 – Facebook launches.
February 13 – Scientists in South Korea announce the cloning of 30 human embryos.
February 24 – An earthquake in Morocco kills 613.
February 29 – In a coup, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigns, and is replaced by Boniface Alexandre, the chief justice of the Haitian Supreme Court.
March 2 – NASA announces that the Mars rover Opportunity has confirmed that its landing area was once drenched in water.
March 11 – Terrorists execute simultaneous attacks, with bombs in four rush-hour trains in Madrid, killing 191 people.
March 25 – British Prime Minister Tony Blair visits Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi, in return for the dismantling of Libya’s weapons of mass destruction program. It’s the first time a major Western leader has visited the nation in several decades.
April 1 – Google releases Gmail.
April 22 – Disaster in North Korea as two trains carrying explosives and fuel collide, killing 161 people, injuring 1,300 and destroying thousands of homes.
May 9 – Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov is killed by a landmine placed under a VIP stage during a World War II memorial parade in Grozny.
May 17 – Massachusetts legalizes same-sex marriage, in compliance with a ruling from the state’s Supreme Judicial Court.
May 24 – North Korea bans mobile phones.
June 5 – Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan dies at age 93.
June 8 – The first transit of Venus since 1882 occurs. The next one happened in 2012.
June 11 – Oklahoma City bombing plotter Terry Nichols is spared the death penalty by an Oklahoma state court.
June 21 – In Mojave, Calif., SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve space flight.
July 1 – The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft, launched in 1997, arrives at Saturn. It will remain in Saturn orbit for more than a decade, leading to a great expansion in knowledge of Saturn and its 62 moons.
July 4 – Groundbreaking for the Freedom Tower begins at Ground Zero in New York City.
August 3 – The Statue of Liberty re-opens after security improvements.
August 13-29 – Summer Olympic Games held in Athens. The biggest medal winners are the United States, Russia and China.
August 22 – Armed robbers steal Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” “Madonna” and other paintings from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway.
September 1-3 – Chechen terrorists take 1,128 people hostage in a school in southern Russia.The siege ends on Sept. 3, when Russian forces attack. A total of 334 people are killed and at least 700 are injured.
October 19 – A team of explorers reaches the bottom of Krubera Cave, the world’s deepest cave at 6,824 feet, setting a world record.
October 26 – The Cassini probe passes within 900 miles of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon and the only moon in the solar system with a thick atmosphere.
October 27 – Details of the discovery of a new, recent species of fossil hominid, Homofloresiensis, from Indonesia, are published.
October 27 – The Boston Red Sox defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in baseball’s World Series,four games to zero. It’s the first World Series win for the Red Sox since 1918, ending the “curse of the Bambino,” which was supposedly placed on the Red Sox after they sold superstar Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1919.
November 2 – In the U.S. Presidential election, incumbent Republican President George W.Bush defeats Sen. John Kerry, a Democrat from Massachusetts. Results are close, and Bush wins just over 50 percent of the popular vote.
November 7 – U.S. forces launch a major assault on the Iraqi town of Fallujah in an effort to clear the area of insurgents before the Iraqi elections in January.
November 22 – the Orange Revolution begins in Ukraine when the government is accused of electoral fraud against presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko.
December 10 – New Zealand bans smoking in all public places, including bars.
December 26 – One of the worst natural disasters in recorded history hits the entire Indian Ocean region, when the strongest earthquake in 40 years, measuring 9.3 on the Richter scale, strikes the Indian Ocean, generating an enormous tsunami that crashes into the coastal areas of a number of countries, including Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Indonesia. The official death toll in the affected countries stands at 186,983, while more than 40,000 are still missing.
U.S. Newspaper Headlines:
February 4 – Boston Globe: Champs Again (Patriots win Super Bowl)
June 9 – Chicago Tribune – Flood of Reagan Admirers Pay Tribute
October 28– Boston Globe: YES!!! (Boston Red Sox win World Series).
November 4 – USA Today: Bush Calls Win, “Historic.”
Dec. 30 – Times of India: “We Saw the Sea Coming. We All Ran. But God Saves Little.”
DJIA ends year at 10,783, up from 10,453 at start of year, a rise of 3.2%.
Indiana Business Review analysis of economy’s 2004 performance:
Earlier this year, a broad range of economic indicators was sending out positive signals. By March, output had registered four straight quarters of growth above 4 percent, with the full period over 5 percent. The growth of business spending on equipment accelerated over the same period from about zero to well into double-digits, while growth in consumption spending went from below 3 percent to above 4 percent. In the labor market (which tends to lag slightly), employment began to expand in September and increased by an average of 225,000 per month during the first five months of this year.
Rising employment is a manifest indication of business optimism. It implies rising income and does wonders for consumer confidence. It seemed that finally the economic football was ready to really take off. But as the weather turned warmer, signs that the ball might be snatched away started to appear. The initial problem was the labor market. In June, payroll employment rose only 96,000, and then this disappointing performance was repeated the next month with an increase of only 85,000. The evidence of deceleration was reinforced when second quarter output growth came in at 3.3 percent, more than a full percentage point below the first quarter. Even more troubling, consumption advanced at only a 1.6 percent rate.
Other events over the summer raised more concerns. The Federal Reserve started to push short-term interest rates upward in June and continued to do so in August and September. The situation in Iraq seemed to be worsening. Due partly to this and also to a variety of other concerns, crude oil prices rose dramatically, reaching the $55 per barrel level. In nominal terms, this is uncharted territory. High oil prices are in many ways like a large tax on the
entire economy. And then during the fall, even the weather turned perverse, especially for Floridians. Faced with all of this, consumer confidence fell in August, and then further in both September and October. Thus, the possibility that the main support under the expansion is a little wobbly cannot be totally dismissed.
– Facebook launches, but is mainly aimed at college students.
– “Wardrobe Malfunction” at Super Bowl halftime show, as Janet Jackson’s breast is accidentally exposed by Justin Timberlake.
– Martha Stewart is convicted of a felony and sentenced to five months in prison.
– Ken Jennings wins $2.5 million on “Jeopardy!”
– First same-sex marriage performed in Massachusetts
– Ashlee Simpson caught lip-synching on Saturday Night Live
– Cost of a Super Bowl ad rises to $2.3 million.
– Low-carb diets like Atkins and South Beach are popular.
– OutKast scores a number-one hit with “Hey Ya.”
Technology and Science:
Internet – Facebook and Gmail both launch. Google’s initial public offering (IPO) raises $1.67 billion.
Medicine – Merck voluntarily withdraws painkiller Vioxx from market over increased risk of heart attack. Drug-eluting stents for heart disease a major new technology.
Space – Cassini probe enters orbit around Saturn and sends back photos of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, from less than 900 miles away.
Architecture – The official opening of Taipei 101, the tallest skyscraper in the world, at a height of 1,676 feet.
Game Systems – Nintendo announces its “Revolution” (later named Wii) console. Nintendo launches Nintendo DS.
Phones – Samsung introduces cell phone with a built-in hard disk drive. Motorola a leader in cell phones with its RAZR V3. Flip phones are common. Nokia 9500 launched in February includes a camera. The number of Blackberry users rises above 1 million in February.
Music players – Apple introduces iPod Mini in January. New classic iPod introduced in October with up to 60 GB, compared with 10 GB for the original iPod introduced three years earlier.