One hundred and one.
No, that’s not Dalmatians but the number of stocks in the U.S. benchmark S&P 500 index now trading for less than $10 a share.
In all, the group makes up the greatest number of sub-$10 stocks in the index in at least 28 years, said Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at Standard & Poor’s.
In fact, Silverblatt said it could be the most in the post-World-War II era, though he cautioned that his data reaches only as far back as 1980.
“This is definitely unusual,” he said. “I think you’d have to go back as far as the 1940s, when $10 was worth more to see a similar number,” he said.
According to S&P data, 101 is almost double the 59 companies with share prices below $10 in October 2001 when the dotcom meltdown was in full swing and almost triple the 35 sub-$10 stocks in October 1987.
Ten dollars is more than just a psychological barrier. Some institutional investors cannot invest in shares below $10 and some bond contracts require companies above that level.
In fact, a third of the entire index is not even qualified to be in the index — 186 stocks have market caps under $4 billion, the minimum value for consideration for S&P 500 membership.