Consumer Credit

US Household Debt Rose To $12.6 Trillion In 2016: Biggest Jump In A Decade

Total US household debt jumped in Q4 driven by increases in credit card debt, auto and student loans, and a Q4 surge in mortgage originations, and as of December 31, 2016, stood at $12.58 trillion. For the full year, total household debt rose by $460 billion, the biggest annual increase in a decade.

The Norwegian Economy In 2017: Black Swans Hovering Overhead

Norwegians are just now starting to grapple with the effects of their “single cylinder” economy, mostly dependent on oil and gas (ca. 60% of exports). Despite optimism about $50-$70/barrel oil, American crude output is surging, on track to be the highest ever, since 1970, while cracks start to form in OPEC’s latest agreement. In addition to the oil tailspin, a flock of “black swans” have taken flight, led by one with a very orange beak.

Political Worries Keep Europe On Edge As Earnings Push Stocks Higher; US Futures Unchanged

In a mostly quiet Wednesday session, Asian stocks rose overnight along with European bourses, which were led higher by miners after Rio Tinto posted higher profits for the first time in three years and a bigger-than-expected dividend, while India’s Sensex extended declines after the central bank unexpectedly left rates unchanged. US futures were little changed as oil continued to fall after API reported a huge inventory build

At Over $2.5 Trillion, US Student And Auto Loans Hit New All Time High

While US consumers may have stepped back from a credit-card funded splurge in the last month of 2016, the far more troubling trend in student and auto loans remains, and as the following chart shows, as of Q4, both car and student debt hit all time highs of $1.407 trillion and $1.11 trillion, respectively.

S&P Futures, European Stocks Bounce As Dollar Rises Most In Two Weeks; Gold, Yen Slide

The dollar rebounded from a key support level, strengthening against all major peers, pushing S&P futures higher as European shares rose, led by basic resources and real estate, while Asian stocks fall. Gold fell from its highest level since November as demand for some haven assets ebbed while global bonds declined. Oil dipped, pressured by a stronger dollar.

Key Events In The Coming Week

It is a relatively light week in the US, with mainly trade balance, JOLTS and consumer credit data out. The key economic release this week is University of Michigan consumer sentiment on Friday. In addition, there are a few scheduled speaking engagements from Fed officials this week. 86 S&P 500 companies reporting, representing 11% of the index market cap

Global Stocks, US Futures Rise Despite Growing Political Tension In Europe

In a relatively quiet session, which may see US traders sleep in a bit after last night's Superbowl thriller, European and Asian shares rose ahead of Mario Draghi’s testimony at the European Parliament, while US equity futures were fractionally higher (up 0.1% to 2,293) after stocks jumped the most in a week, as traders assessed the trajectory for interest rates while scrutinizing every new Trump tweet.

Key Events In The Coming "Big Week" For The US

Markets will again zero in on the U.S. this week, and not just because of Donald Trump. The Federal Reserve meeting and nonfarm payrolls may set a clear direction for dollar and yields for the next few months. Other key releases include ISM, ADP, housing data, personal income & spending, vehicle sales and core PCE.

Global Stocks, Futures Slide On US Protectionism Worries Following Trump Travel Chaos

European, Asian stocks and S&P futures all drop after traders were left with a sour taste from the potential fallout of Donald Trump’s order halting some immigration and ahead of central bank decisions from the U.S. and Japan.  Markets in Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam are all shut due to the Lunar New Year public holiday.

Just 3 Things

Importantly, with economic growth anemic, consumers stretched and an economy heading into one of the longest post-recessionary expansions on record, there is little room for a policy misstep at this juncture. Maybe Trump will be wildly successful and the economy will come roaring back. That is a possibility. But there is also the risk it won’t. Optimism is one thing. Your personal capital and financial health is quite another.

Consumer Credit Soars, Driven By Near Record Credit Card-Fueled Spending

After several months of tepid growth in the revolving consumer credit, i.e., credit card, space, the latest monthly report from the Fed revealed that Americans went on a credit card-funded shopping spree in November, when total revolving credit exploded higher by a massive $11 billion, the highest November increase on record, and the second highest of the post crash period.