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US Stocks closed at record high yesterday on gains in Apple and healthcare stocks, despite concerns over a surge in the Delta variant of the coronavirus taking some shine off an upbeat corporate earnings season.

 

New orders for U.S.-made goods increased more than expected in June, while business spending on equipment was solid, pointing to sustained strength in manufacturing even as spending is shifting away from goods to services.  According to the Commerce Department factory orders rose 1.5% in June after advancing 2.3% in May.  Orders soared 18.4% on a year-on-year basis. Demand pivoted towards goods during the pandemic as millions of Americans were cooped up at home, boosting manufacturing, which accounts for 11.9% of the U.S. economy. But the surge in demand is straining the supply chain.

 

A surge in credit card spending and home purchases caused US household debt to increase by $313 billion, or 2.1%, in the second quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.   That's the largest nominal jump since 2007 and the biggest percentage increase in seven and a half years.  In total, American consumers held $14.96 trillion in debt at the end of June — the biggest pile of bills on record and $812 billion more than what was owed at the end of 2019, before the pandemic hit. Mortgage debt, the single biggest contributor to overall household debt, rose $282 billion to $10.44 trillion. A whopping 44% of the outstanding mortgage balances were originated over the past year.
 

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