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NY Fed Q2 Report: “Total Household Debt Climbs for 20th Straight Quarter as Mortgage Debt and Originations Rise”

From the NY Fed: Total Household Debt Climbs for 20th Straight Quarter as Mortgage Debt and Originations Rise The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data today issued its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, which shows that total household debt increased by $192 billion (1.4%) to $13.86 trillion in the […]

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MBA: “Mortgage Delinquencies Rise in the Second Quarter of 2019”

From the MBA: Mortgage Delinquencies Rise in the Second Quarter of 2019 The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties increased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.53 percent of all loans outstanding at the end of the second quarter of 2019, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) National Delinquency Survey. The […]

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Small Business Optimism Index Increased in July

CR Note: Most of this survey is noise, but there is some information, especially on the labor market and the “Single Most Important Problem”. From the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): July 2019 Report: Small Business Optimism Index The Optimism Index rose 1.4 points to 104.7, an exceptional reading. Seven of the 10 components […]

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Eliminating that Factor Home Bias

Investors have flocked to single factor ETFs with $90 BN in flows over the past 10 years. However, when dissecting these flows further, one can’t help but notice that U.S. factor ETFs have captured the majority of flows and investor adoption of international factor ETFs has lagged.[1] While investors have embraced both U.S. single factors […]

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The yuan, tariffs and your portfolio

A surprise tariff announcement by the U.S. met with an unexpected depreciation in the Chinese currency, sending shock waves across global markets last week. This latest escalation in U.S.-China tensions reinforces our view that trade and geopolitical frictions have become the key driver of the global economy and markets. We stress the importance of portfolio […]

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AAR: July Rail Carloads down 4.8% YoY, Intermodal Down 6.1% YoY

From the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Rail Time Indicators. Graphs and excerpts reprinted with permission. Continuing economic uncertainty, fueled in great measure by ongoing trade disputes and worrisome economic weakness around the globe — combined with low natural gas prices and the shift from coalfired electricity in the United States — to produce another […]

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Schedule for Week of August 11, 2019

The key reports this week are July CPI, Housing starts and Retail sales. For manufacturing, the Industrial Production report and the August New York and Philly Fed manufacturing surveys will be released. —– Monday, Aug 12th —–No major economic releases scheduled. —– Tuesday, Aug 13th —–6:00 AM ET: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for July. […]

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Vehicle Sales: Fleet Turnover Ratio

Back in early 2009, I wrote a couple of posts arguing there would be an increase in auto sales – Vehicle Sales (Jan 2009) and Looking for the Sun (Feb 2009).   This was an out-of-the-consensus call and helped me call the bottom for the US economy in mid-2009. I wrote an update in 2014, […]

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Why bonds are now the better hedge

This is not a year in which investors have needed to hedge their equity risk. As of this writing, stocks have not only rallied, they’ve rallied with a consistency last seen in 2017, at least until the last day of July and the first of August. But as investors look to protect gains and seasonal […]

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Seattle Real Estate in July: Sales up 1.3% YoY, Inventory up 45% YoY from Low Levels

The Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported Northwest MLS brokers report mixed activity during July, as volume of closed sales reaches 12-month high July provided mixed messages on housing activity, noted one industry veteran when commenting on the latest report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The newly released MLS figures show last month’s closed sales reached […]