Credit Card Debt
Put aside the fact that America’s national debt has risen by huge leaps and bounds under the current administration, what may or may not surprise you is that personal credit card debt has risen too.
According to TheBalance.com, U.S. consumers now have acquired over $1 trillion in credit card debt. Divide that by the number of households in the country and that breaks down to $5,700 in debt per household.
But wait, there’s more: Look at just the households that already have credit card debt and the average debt for those households is heading for $10,000, ($9.333), according to ValuePenguin.
All of which makes me wonder about how really great is this economy that you hear so much about. Or the fabulous job numbers. Or, the low inflation.
Something does add up.
Market Quick Glance
For one week there were positive signs of life on Wall Street as all three indices followed here showed some nice one week gains.
Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ — including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.
–DJIA 2.87% YTD way up from the previous week’s 0.45%.
- 1 yr. Rtn -6.17% improved from the previous week -6.55%
Most recent DJIA a new ALL-TIME CLOSING HIGH was reached on Oct.3, 2018 of 26,951.81. The previous high was reached on Sept. 21, 2018 of 26,796.16.
-S&P 500 3.57% YTD up from last week’s 1.00%
- 1 yr. Rtn -6.19% improved from last week’s -7.05%
The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on Sept. 21, 2018 of 2,940.91. The previous closing high was reached on August 29, 2018 of 2,916.50.
-NASDAQ 5.07% YTD way up from last week’s 1.56%
- 1yr Rtn -3.33% improved from last week’s -4.79%
Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW 52-week CLOSING HIGH on August 30, 2018 of 8,1333.30. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 7,949.71.
At the close of business on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, the total return for the average stock fund under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading was 4.70%, according to Lipper.
Looking at the fund types with the highest year-to-date gains under the various headings shows the following:
-U.S. Diversified Equity Funds average, 4.70%; highest Equity Leveraged Funds, 11.08%; lowest, Dedicated Short Bias Funds, -8.88%
-Sector Equity Funds average 4.88%; highest Energy MLP Funds, 11.74%; lowest Alternative Managed Funds, -2.20%
-World Equity Funds average 4.07%; highest Latin American Funds, 9.01%; lowest India Region Funds, -1.23%.
Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for more information about how various equity and fixed-income funds have rewarded investors over the short-and long-term, based upon Lipper data. Short-term meaning weekly and monthly performance returns; longer-term includes quarterly, year-to-date, 1-yr, 2-yr, 3-yr and 5-yr returns.
Banking on banks
Turns out, 2018 was a great year for banks if being a great year means that none failed.
CNBC reported “ 2018 was the first year since 2006 and only the third since the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was created in 1933 that a calendar year passed without a bank failure, according to Bloomberg.”
FYI, the peak year for failures was 2010 when 157 institutions bellied up. And during the savings and loan crisis, in 1989 there were 534 lenders that failed.