David Blitzer

Chairman of the Index Committee
S&P Dow Jones Indices
Biography

David M. Blitzer is managing director and chairman of the Index Committee with overall responsibility for index security selection, as well as index analysis and management.

Prior to becoming Chairman of the Index Committee, Dr. Blitzer was Standard & Poor’s Chief Economist.  Before joining Standard & Poor's, he was Corporate Economist at The McGraw-Hill Companies, S&P's parent corporation.  Prior to that, he was a Senior Economic Analyst with National Economic Research Associates, Inc. and did consulting work for various government and private sector agencies including the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the National Commission on Materials Policy and Natural Resources Defense Council.

Dr. Blitzer is the author of Outpacing the Pros: Using Indices to Beat Wall Street’s Savviest Money Managers, (McGraw-Hill, 2001) and What’s the Economy Trying to Tell You? Everyone’s Guide to Understanding and Profiting from the Economy, (McGraw-Hill, 1997).  In the year 2000, Dr. Blitzer was named to SmartMoney magazine’s distinguished list of the 30 most influential people in the world of investing, which ranked him seventh, and in the year 1998, Dr. Blitzer was named the nation’s top economist, receiving the Blue Chip Economic Forecasting Award for most accurately predicting the country’s leading economic indicators for four years in a row.  A well-known speaker at investing and indexing conferences, Dr. Blitzer is often quoted in the national business press, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Financial Times, and various other financial and industry publications.  He is frequently heard on local and national television and radio.

A graduate of Cornell University with a B.S. in engineering, Dr. Blitzer received his M.A. in economics from the George Washington University and his Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University.

Author Archives: David Blitzer

Inside the S&P 500®: Stocks, Not Indices, Move Markets

The S&P 500 is not only the most widely used index for ETFs and funds, it is also the index of choice for researching markets.  Much of the research focuses on the index pop — how much a stock jumps when it joins the index.  About ten years ago some papers on comovement appeared arguing Read more […]

Upbeat Housing Reports

Two recent data points – existing home sales and mortgage debt outstanding – point to continued strength in the housing recovery. May total existing home sales, including single family homes, town houses and condominiums, were 5.35 million, up 5.1% and the highest figure since November 2009. Sales of single family homes were 4.73 million, 5.6% Read more […]

Looking Beyond This Week’s FOMC Meeting

The Federal Reserve’s policy makers, the FOMC, meet today and tomorrow (Wednesday) to review the economy and monetary policy.  The minutes of the April meeting and recent comments by various FOMC members point to no change in interest rate policy at this meeting.   Recent economic news is upbeat and the debates over the weak first Read more […]

Grant vs. Bogle

Jason Zweig, writing in the Wall Street Journal  reports on an on-going debate between John Bogle, founder of Vanguard funds, and Jim Grant of Grants’s Interest Rate Observer.   Zweig notes: “[Grant] pointed out that investing in an S&P 500 index fund means buying stocks picked by the committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices headed by Read more […]

Sluggish GDP Growth

First quarter U.S. GDP will be reported on Wednesday morning April 29th; the consensus is for only one percent real growth.  The last few years have been marked by poor GDP growth. The chart compares actual GDP to potential GDP and shows that six years after the Great Recession GDP remains well below its potential. Read more […]

Greece

Forecasts of an imminent Greek default and possibly Grexit, (Greece exiting the euro) abound.  Following the first rule of successful forecasting, no one is willing to put the date and the event in the same sentence. Moreover, while both possibilities have been widely discussed, there is little agreement on what might happen.   If Greece defaults Read more […]

House Prices and Incomes

Since the S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price index bottomed in December 2011, the national index is up 24% or 7.5% annually. While the Index is about 10% below the peak level set in July 2006, the indices for Denver and Dallas set new all-time peaks last year. Boston and Charlotte NC are both closing in on Read more […]

Data Driven Decisions Replace Forward Guidance

Since the financial crisis, the Fed gave clear signals and advance warnings about shifts in monetary policy. Even the “taper tantrum” in May, 2013 was widely heralded in advance.  Early warnings will soon be a thing of the past.  Instead the Fed will watch the economic reports and will set policy at each meeting based Read more […]

Inside the Dow: Apple

On Friday S&P Dow Jones Indices announced that Apple will be added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average after the market close on March 18th. What’s in it for Apple Apple was certainly well-known last week before the announcement that it will join the DJIA.  However, its entry into an exclusive club defined by The Read more […]

Higher Interest Rates: Why, When, How

Three issues surround the debate over the Fed and raising interest rates: why should interest rates be increased? When should they be raised and how can the Fed do it.  All three need to be resolved. Why The traditional description of Fed policy is “removing the punchbowl when the party gets good.” The Fed’s dual Read more […]