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US Stocks hit fresh record highs yesterday after investors digested solid data on the U.S. economy.
 
The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits in early January fell for the fifth week in a row, giving a clean bill of health to strong U.S. labor market as 2020 got underway.  Initial jobless claims declined by 10,000 to 204,000 in the seven days ended Jan 11th.

 

In another good sign for the U.S. economy, most retailers posted higher sales in December to finish out the holiday season on a strong note.  Retail sales increased 0.3% last month, just a tick below forecast.  Every major group except auto dealers and department stores reported stronger sales.

 

The rapid increase of student loan debt has slowed over the past few years, but individual borrower balances aren’t going down mostly because hardly anybody is paying down their loans.  Total indebtedness over the past year or so has stopped its meteoric rise, according to a study that Moody’s Investors Service. Nevertheless, the study showed a number of factors are constraining borrowers from lightening their loads. Outstanding loans total more than $1.6 trillion, more than doubling over the last decade and tripling since 2006.

 

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, I'm Tyler Simones

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