Tag Archives: credit card debt

POCKETBOOK Week Ending May 17, 2019

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  • Happy Spenders and our Great(?) Economy

Whoa. I was at the brand new multi-thousand foot At Home décor store yesterday in North Palm Beach, FL. The hugely huge parking lot was jammed as were the too-many-to-count aisles. As you might imagine, the check-out line snaked around and you would have thought the joint was giving away stuff. They weren’t.

From there it was on to a Sunday stop at Costco and then Aldi’s. Jammola in both stores and their respective parking lots. I said something to the cashier at Costco about the crowd and he said, “It’s a great economy.”

Apparently it is.

Then again, Ford just announced it’s laying off about 10% of its 7,000 white collar work force with about 2,400 of the cuts coming to those in North America and 1,500 others to be eliminated via oluntary buyouts, according to CNN Business.

Then again, again, American households are now holding more debt than they did prior to the 2008 financial crisis. According to CNBC.com, 55% of U.S adults have credit card debt with 22% of them reporting the balances they carry range between $100 and $500 while10% have balances over $5,000.

But wait there’s more: Consumer sentiment is the highest it’s been in 15 years, according to a new University of Michigan survey.

“Consumers viewed prospect for the overall economy much more favorable, with the economic outlook for the near and longer term reaching their highest levels since 2004,” said Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Surveys of Consumers.

So happy moods are here again.

Then again, so far this year at least 10 stores– whose names we are all familiar with– are closing some of their stores. They include: Victoria’s Secret; JCPenny; Family Dollar; Gymboree; Payless ShoeSource; Charlotte Russe; GAP; Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Brant: the Ascena Retail Group; Macy’s; and LifeWay Christian Stores.

Huh. I wonder how long our reportedly lowest unemployment rate in decades is going to last.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Last week there were downers everywhere as in on both the year-to-date returns and 1-year ones for the DJIA, S&P500 and NASDAQ.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the three 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, May 17, 2019.

DJIA 10.44% YTD down again from the previous week–it closed at 11.21%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 4.25% down again from the previous week 4.86%

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   14.07% YTD down from the previous week’s 14.95%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 5.12% down from the previous week’s 5.81%.

*****The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on Friday April 26, 2019 of 2,939.88. The previous all-time closing high was on Sept. 21, 2018 of 2,940.91. Prior to that, the high of 2,916.50 was reached on August 29, 2018.

 

-NASDAQ 17.80% YTD down again from last week’s 19.32%.

  • 1yr Rtn 5.88% way down from last week’s 6.91%.

*********Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW All-Time CLOSING HIGH on Friday, April 26, 2019 of 8,146.40. Prior to that, the previous high of 8,1333.30 was reached on August 30, 2018. Before that, on August 24, 2018 reached it’s then all-time high of 7,949.71.

 

-Mutual funds

The slide continues.

At the close of business on Thursday, May 16, 2019, the year-to-date cumulative total reinvested performance of U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was 15.04%,according to Lipper. That’s down from the previous week’s close of 15.11%.

Even though there has been a slide in the average year-to-date returns, many different types of funds have average returns near 20% and more. A few of them under the large umbrella heading of U.S. Diversified Equity Funds include;

-Large-Cap Growth funds, 19.30%;

-Multi-Cap Growth funds, 19.50%;

-Mid-Cap Growth Funds, 22.51%;

-Small-Cap Growth funds, 20.73%;

-and Equity Leverage funds, 24.84%.

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.

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending Jan. 11, 2019

 

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As for the market’s direction, could it be a bear in wedding dress clothing? Time will tell.

 

  • 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.

 

-Mutual funds

Looking up.

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.

 

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