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The S&P 500 and NASDAQ were up slightly yesterday as investors digested testimony from the top U.S. central banking official and assessed the potential economic impact of the coronavirus.

 

Household debt surged by more than $600 billion in 2019, marking the biggest annual increase since just before the financial crisis, according to the New York Federal Reserve.  Total household debt balances rose by $601 billion last year, topping $14 trillion for the first time.  The last time the growth was that large was 2007, when household debt rose by just over $1 trillion.

 

Boeing said they booked no new jetliner orders in January, increasing the financial strain that has been building during the 737 Max crisis as airlines added no new deposits to secure a place in the plane maker’s order backlog.  Boeing delivered 13 planes last month, including six 787 Dreamliners, two 777s and military versions of its commercial jets. Boeing said no customers canceled orders, leaving its backlog for future production at 5,393 jets.

 

Small businesses turned more optimistic about sales and profits in the first month of 2020, but they are still struggling to find qualified workers, according to a closely followed survey.  The National Federation of Independent Business said its index of small-business optimism rebounded from a small dip in at the end of last year, rising to 104.3 in January from 102.7 in December.

 

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, I’m Tyler Simones.

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