David Blitzer

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

David M. Blitzer is Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI) 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 (now S&P Global), S&P DJI'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 won the 2012 William F. Sharpe Indexing Lifetime Achievement Award. 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 global 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 in the U.S.

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

Damage Control

Compared to a month ago, every major developed equity market is down, some by double digits while bond yields have climbed over the same period.  The U.S. markets – both stocks and bonds — are among the least damaged.  For investors the questions are when will it end?, where can one hide? and why? When Read more […]

After the crunch

Friday afternoon and the markets survived the Fed’s pre-announcement of QE3’s demise.  The big move was in the yield on 10 year treasuries, now about 2.5%, the highest since August of 2011.  VIX broke through 20 the first time this year. The stock market is down but has only retraced its steps back to late Read more […]

S&P Dow Jones Raises Market Cap Guidelines for S&P 500

In a release on June 19th the S&P Dow Jones US Index Committee raised the market cap guidelines used when selecting companies for the S&P 500, S&P  Mid Cap 400 and S&P Small Cap 600. The new guidelines are: S&P 500: Over $4.6 billion, raised from $4 billion S&P Mid Cap 400: $1.2 to $5.1 Read more […]

Fed Proposes, Market Disposes

The FOMC statement and Ben Bernanke’s press conference was not well received this afternoon.  Hopes for something that would smooth over the recent volatility with assurances that QE3 would last for many more months to come were dashed by comments during the press conference that most FOMC members could see bond buying tapering off this Read more […]

Fed Meeting Report due tomorrow, Hints Bernanke will step down in January 2014

The Federal Open Market Committee — the Fed’s policy making unit — meets today and tomorrow.  Recent reports show the economy expanding, but not accelerating. Housing starts and consumer prices both slightly weaker than expected in today’s reports.  Given this and recent misplaced fears that the Fed was about to end QE3, most analysts look Read more […]

Indices Rebalance Friday

Index funds could experience slightly more trading than usual on Friday.  Company’s shares outstanding change from time to time due to buy-backs, issuance for employee options or other events. The percentage of shares in float — not closely held — also change from time to time.  In theory S&P Dow Jones could update data on Read more […]

IMF Cuts US Growth Forecast, Market Reacts

The IMF released its latest forecast of US economic growth and US economic policy this afternoon, sending the S&P 500 and the Dow into negative territory.  While the market response is likely to be forgotten by next Monday, the IMF’s comments are worth consideration.  The forecast sees 1.9% real GDP growth in 2013,  2.7% in 2014 Read more […]

Looking Back When Interest Rates Rose

With all the discussion about what might happen were interest rates to rise, it is worth looking at what has happened before. In 1994 the Fed tightened policy and interest rates rose faster and higher than investors expected.  The chart shows the yield on ten year treasury notes — the same instrument everyone is talking Read more […]

Stocks and Fed Fears

Only a month ago the market was in love with the Fed and Ben Bernanke was a hero for helping the market move from 1350 in November to about 1670 in May.  Now the central bank is a villain as the yield on 10 year treasuries tops 2%. Interest rates have risen in the last Read more […]

Thinking About P/E Ratios

The chart below is  a scatter diagram comparing the P/E ratio to the price return on the S&P 500 over the next ten years.  P/E is defined as each month’s level of the S&P 500 divided by the earnings per share on the 500 over the trailing 12 months. Both the P/E and the index Read more […]